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Lois sets sights on third place
 Women's Football News 6 Dec 2013
Lois sets sights on third place - 6 Dec 2013 - Women's Football NewsEngland Under-17 Head Coach Lois Fidler refused to be downbeat despite her side's 3-0 defeat to Spain in the semi finals of the UEFA Women's Under-17 Championships and immediately turned her attentions to Sunday's third place play-off match against Italy. 
"I think for large portions of the game we were still very much in it," said Lois. "I am pleased with the way that the players took our strategy and game plan to the Spanish, I don't think we were intimidated by them and I think we gave it our best shot.
"I think overall the better technical side won and I want to congratulate the Spanish and wish them the best of luck in the Final. They hit the woodwork a couple of times early on and we created a couple of chances - it would have been nice to have got back in it and have them chase it but unfortunately today that didn't happen.
"But it was another competitive, spirited, hard working performance from the team."
Lois admitted that the latter part of the first half had been England's best spell of the game but they were unable to make a breakthrough at that stage. "It would have been great to get an equaliser before going in to the break but unfortunately it didn't happen," she said.
"When you're chasing the game, you make a few changes - it was the fourth game of the tournaments and players begin to look fatigued but that was the same for both teams. I actually think that for large spells, we looked in better shape than them to be honest, but we were taking more risks and unfortunately it was a gamble that didn't pay off today."
There is still much for England to play for on Sunday though with the ultimate prize of a place in next year's FIFA Women's Under-17 World Cup for the winners. "I said to the players that [they] can be disappointed but don't forget what we came here to do. We have to recover, preparation starts for the next game and we end the tournament as we began it with a game against Italy, ultimately trying to seal the prize that we came here for, which was to qualify for the World Cup.
"I also said to the players, 'remember what it feels like to see the Spanish celebrate and enjoy the fact they have got to the final.' We'll qualify in the next game, fingers crossed, we'll come back again after three months preparation and maybe we'll take on Spain again in Costa Rica.
"The players are quite clear and focused in what they want to achieve. The team is really tight and committed and they know they have got another bite of the cherry [so] I won't need to pick them up. They have known what they've wanted coming into it and that is still very much in our sights, so I think they'll pick themselves up.
"We did quite a lot of preparation for our opening game against Italy and we are well aware of their strengths and weaknesses. I still think we were unlucky not to get something out of the opening game and I think that will be motivation for the players going into the next one. I think they'll have a bit of a point to prove, on a mission to qualify for the World Cup, and we'll go for it.
"It's always hard when you're playing in the third/fourth place play-off but we want a podium finish. We still want to come into this tournament and get something out of it and it's our Final - and that's the way we'll prepare for it."

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