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It was really good to get a new international season off to a winning start and there are quite a few positives to take out of our 2-0 victory over Northern Ireland.
The performance against Northern Ireland was a strong one and showed that we have made progress since our goalless draw over there last year. We controlled most of the game, which is what we wanted to do and set out to do.
We created a lot of scoring chances and are a bit disappointed that we were unable to convert more of them but on the whole, the game was a pleasing one.
Jayne Ludlow was solid at the back for us and it's great to have her back with us. Loren Dykes played in an unaccustomed position at right back and had an excellent game - defensively we were very, very solid and the attackers also did everything right. It was a good all round team performance and I think a few more goals for us would have been a better reflection of the game.
Looking at the game, I think that our experiences from the summer tournament that we played in Switzerland have been a big help for the team. I feel that, although that tournament wasn't a great one for us in terms of results, in many aspects it was. It shouldn't be forgotten that two of the teams we played over there - Colombia and New Zealand - were getting ready for the World Cup and the third, Denmark, were a really good side. We have learnt a lot as a team and are now putting the things right that went wrong during the summer.
I was pleased for Helen Lander who scored both of our goals against Northern Ireland and now has 18 goals for Wales, which probably puts her amongst the highest scorers in our history. Helen always deserves goals, she's a good finisher and always takes her chances if we can give her the right service. She played well and both her goals were very well finished, we are delighted to have her amongst us.
All in all I believe that it was a good game to carry into our qualifying campaign for the 2013 UEFA Women's Championships, which begins next month with a home game against the Republic of Ireland. We can take the good things forward and we can also put the little things that need to be improved in place before the game.
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