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Powell positive as England win

Published: Friday 23 September 2011, 10.26CET
Hope Powell was upbeat after England bounced back from drawing 2-2 in Serbia to beat Slovenia 4-0, but knows it is next month's trip to the Netherlands which is "the big one".
by Paul Saffer
Powell positive as England win
Rachel Williams (left) celebrates her first international goal with Stephanie Houghton ©Getty Images
 

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Published: Friday 23 September 2011, 10.26CET

Powell positive as England win

Hope Powell was upbeat after England bounced back from drawing 2-2 in Serbia to beat Slovenia 4-0, but knows it is next month's trip to the Netherlands which is "the big one".

England manager Hope Powell was pleased her side got their first UEFA Women's EURO 2013 qualifying Group 6 win by beating Slovenia 4-0 on Thursday in Swindon, but knows the forthcoming trip to the Netherlands is their true test.

A last-gasp Serbia equaliser meant a disappointing 2-2 away draw for the 2009 runners-up in their opening fixture on Saturday. As in that game, England were two up early on against Slovenia after Rachel Yankey and Ellen White struck inside the first five minutes, but this time they increased their advantage when Stephanie Houghton became the third Arsenal LFC player on the scoresheet early in the second period.

Late on Rachel Williams – leading scorer in the inaugural season of the new FA Women's Super League – came off the bench to tap in her maiden international strike after good work from Jess Clarke. The victory puts England top ahead of their crucial visit to face the team they beat in the 2009 semi-finals, the Netherlands, in Zwolle on 27 October, well aware their main group rivals saw off Serbia 6-0 on Wednesday.

Powell, who on Saturday became the first England manager at any level to take charge of 140 matches, said: "The main thing was that we got the three points, certainly after the Serbia game. It was nice to have scored more goals. I still think we could have scored a lot more, we had opportunities, we just need to be a bit more clinical. I'd be worried if we weren't creating the chances, though. The positive thing is we got three points and also kept a clean sheet."

Now the focus turns to Zwolle. "We have to be positive," said Powell. "There is still work to do. The next [game] is the big one. We have to make sure we're ready for Holland. We know that, probably, the Dutch were going to be our biggest challenge. They have improved. They've got a new philosophy and a new coach and he seems to have given them a boost. We're going to go there and give it our best."

Last updated: 23/09/11 15.01CET

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