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Women's Football News
It will be good to get back in action this week although their may be a little bit of rustiness to get rid of!
Not many of our squad have played since the end of last season but everyone looks good in training and we are raring to go.
We start off on Saturday when we take on Azerbaijan at Newtown and our aim is to put the record straight after they beat us 2-1 back in October. We shouldn't have lost over there but no excuses for losing, it was that kind of game. It wasn't a nice trip to Azerbaijan and it does affect you.
However that result, more than any other, may cost us a chance of finishing third in the group which would have been a good achievement. That is frustrating because we could well finish one place below Belgium - and we are better than they are.
It will be better for us to play Azerbaijan first as we haven't played for a while, it will be a nice game to get back into.
From there we travel to Sweden to play the biggest match in our group. It reminds me of two years ago, when we played our last game away to Germany, so it will be nice to finish against them. Sweden will probably have won the group by the time we play them so they may well take their foot off the gas, but regardless of that, we don't want it to be an easy game for them.
We were disappointed about our last game with Sweden, when we lost 4-0, but we are not scared of them. We took more positives from that match than all the others and in the first half, we felt that we should have scored one or two goals and should have been ahead. If we get the basics right, it should be a good game and experience for us.
We have got a really young squad this time but the youngsters coming through have done really well. Unfortunately Cheryl Foster has dropped out and we shall miss her experience and strength up front, but it gives another player a chance. We are starting to get strength in depth now and it will help the younger players that Terry Boyle is in charge as a caretaker manager for the two games, they will know him well from their days with the younger sides.
Our group matches are coming to an end but the positive things is that we are making progression. Two years ago we didn't pick up a single point but this time around, we have beaten the Czech Republic and Belgium and we should have won against Belgium when we played them at home. The game away to Azerbaijan was the only slip up and we have a chance to put that right this week.
The two games this week will give Michelle Green a chance to reach the 50-cap mark and it will be great if she can get there. I have played with 'Mush' for years, for both club and country, and she has always been a really good player to be alongside. She thoroughly deserves to get there.
'Mush' would be the third player to get to 50 caps in the last year and hopefully there will be more on the way very soon. The core of the squad is getting more experienced now and players who are only 23 years old now have 30 or 40 caps, something which seemed unthinkable not so long ago. If we can keep them together, it bodes well for us as a squad as we can only get stronger for it.
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