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Marley thrilled to see England 'getting rewards'

Published: Thursday 29 August 2013, 0.29CET
For Mo Marley this U19 Championship "just get better and better" after England beat Finland 4-0 to reach the final, on a night when "everything felt wrong" for Marianne Miettinen.
by Peter Sanderson
from Richmond Park
Marley thrilled to see England 'getting rewards'
Jessica Sigsworth and company revel in England's fourth goal in Carmarthen ©Sportsfile
Published: Thursday 29 August 2013, 0.29CET

Marley thrilled to see England 'getting rewards'

For Mo Marley this U19 Championship "just get better and better" after England beat Finland 4-0 to reach the final, on a night when "everything felt wrong" for Marianne Miettinen.

Mo Marley, England manager
We knew today was going to be difficult. We were a bit apprehensive about the fact we'd achieved a semi-final place, getting to Canada [the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup]. We sat down today and were like, 'We've come this far, we've got our first objective. Now it's about making a point to ourselves more than anything' – these girls want to show they've got what it takes to play on a world-class stage, Canada.

The players have driven themselves on this trip. I've never worked with a group so focused and it's been an absolute pleasure the last two weeks. It's been outstanding in every aspect and it's really pleasing and rewarding when you see the coaching you do coming into play in such an important game – it's like a dream come true. The players are playing with smiles on their faces. I'm not the easiest person to please but we're having a great time.

I just think they're growing in confidence. In the first game they were quite nervous and rightly so, because a lot were inexperienced or making their finals debut – not many had caps at this level. They've just bred their own confidence and they believe. They can see things coming into play and whatever we give them, they just go out and try to put it into practice. They're getting their rewards. It's a happy camp and whatever happens I think the girls deserve a medal: whether that's gold or silver remains to be seen.

We were a bit disappointed about our possession and ball retention when we played France in the first game but we're confident we'll be better. To get to a final, regardless of the level, to top your group – it's been brilliant. It just gets better and better.

Marianne Miettinen, Finland coach
We knew England were a quick, strong-running team, but we weren't expecting they'd kick the long ball from the back four and those long balls caused our defence big problems. Four goals they scored – three, including the penalty, came from a long ball. England were just the better team, better physically, stronger, more aggressive. Attacking wise, they knew our weaknesses and they could use that; and they defended really well from our cutbacks.

We tried to react but couldn't do it quickly enough. Maybe we could have used the flanks more in attack – we tried in the second half. But today everything feels crap. I told my players they are allowed to feel a bit disappointed – they were crying because they don't want to go home yet and were this close to a European Championship final. They'd be in the wrong place if they weren't disappointed. But I told them that tomorrow, when we go home, we go as winners. We played three really good games and got the ticket to Canada, so we must be proud of that.

This experience was fantastic for Finnish women's and girls' football, to be in the final tournament. These players will be key players in the national team in a few years and it will be important that they participated in this tournament.

Emilia Iskanius, Finland captain
I'm really disappointed. We weren't at our best and our performance wasn't good so England won. The last week has been wonderful, though. I have enjoyed every moment and I think we have grown up as a team. Now Canada is our next goal – we're going to focus on that after we get over this disappointment.

Last updated: 05/09/13 22.00CET

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