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After the disappointment of losing to Scotland in our friendly match last week, we have a chance to put ourselves back on track when we travel to play in the Algarve Cup in Portugal.
It is a week that we need but it will be a good week and I am really looking forward to going. It will be good to get four games under our belts and, although we are taking a few players who are not really used to playing at this level, hopefully the more experienced players - myself included - can pull us all through.
We open our matches against the hosts Portugal, and it will help having familiar opponents first up. I think we should be disappointed if we get anything less than three points from this game and, from a team perspective, we should win. Hopefully we can play the way we want to play and if we do, we know we are more than capable of getting the right result.
Romania will be our next opponents and it will be the first time that I have come up against them at senior level. I have played them at Under-19 level and we were comfortable 2-0 winners that day. I expect Romania to be a typical continental side with good defensive qualities, one which will play the ball around on the floor and we must make sure that we don't play into their hands.
The last group match will be against Chile and they are going to be completely unknown opposition to us. I know that they one place above us in the world rankings but that may not mean too much but it gives us a very rare opportunity to face up to a South American team. It will be quite exciting to play against them and they should be a pretty good team.
Overall we shall be playing in a nice group at our level. I think we should be able to come out on top as winners and that is what we are aiming to do. It is a shame that we are not going to be at full strength as I feel that, if we were, we would definitely do so.
Whilst we are away we will be taking a look at the Scotland game and learn from our mistakes there. We had a few good opportunities and didn't work their keeper, but generally we didn't look to keep the ball and we should be doing the basics better.
We're trying to close the gap and it was different for us to play against a team which is higher than us in the rankings, against a side of that kind of calibre. Scotland played the ball around and we went into a panic mode and kept giving the ball away needlessly. We need to learn from that as a team but the players know that themselves.
When we play in the Algarve, particularly against the likes of Chile, we must work hard to win the ball and then we have to keep it. You can't just give it back to them or else we are going to have a lot of chasing to do and, with four games in six days, it will take an awful lot out of us. It will be humid over there and we will need to adapt our game to it quickly.
Looking at our group as a whole, I think we must aim at least not to lose a game. We just need to tighten up from a defensive point of view and be more patient when in possession. Personally I would rather draw 1-1 or 0-0 than lose 4-3 and we have to take a bit of a 'Champions League' mentality into our games. From a team perspective, we need to shut up shop as we are always capable of scoring goals with the likes of Gwen and Helen in our team. We have only failed to score in one match in the last 18 months so if we can get it right at the back, and I mean defending through the whole team, it will be a huge step in the right direction.
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