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Midfielder Fara Williams says England are determined to bury the memory of their opening defeat by Italy and do what it takes against Russia and Sweden to reach the quarter-finals at UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™.
Reduced to ten players after only 28 minutes against Italy, England went on to be defeated 2-1 and leave themselves both a tough task to qualify from Group C and plenty at stake on Friday against Russia, who lost their opener 3-0 to Sweden. Hope Powell's side, who came into the tournament with high expectations, have spent the last few days in Finland not only coming to terms with the defeat and but also planning their escape route from the group.
Looking back at Tuesday's game in Lahti, where she gave the already-depleted England the lead from the penalty spot only for things to go wrong in the second half, Williams said: "We were disappointed, of course. It was a game we wanted to win and it didn't happen for us. But we've regrouped and analysed the game, and we're ready. We're determined. We've got a great bunch of girls that want to win and have come here to get out the group. Scoring is good to do, but winning is more important. The goal I scored doesn't mean anything to me now, it was a result and we lost."
If anything, the 25-year-old Everton LFC midfielder saw a positive side to their early setback. "Losing the first game will probably give us that bit of grit that we needed," she said. "Our focus hasn't changed. We still want to get out of the group, there's two more games and six points to play for."
On a personal level, the arrival of injury-plagued Kelly Smith as a second- half substitute against the Azzurre was a particularly welcome one for Williams, who takes a more attacking position in her colleague's absence. "Kelly’s been injured so I've had to take up a different role," Williams said. "It's probably not my favourite position, but we've got a squad that can take up different kinds of roles. Now we've got Kelly back and, hopefully, I can get back in my more favoured role."
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