LINKOPING, Sweden – Coming off a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Spain on Friday night, England had brief media availability session on Saturday. Alex Scott, who played every minute against Spain, shared her thoughts on England’s performance and what they hope to improve on as Euro 2013 continues for the Lionesses.
Having played the full 90 minutes Friday night, how are you feeling today?
Alex Scott: I think more mentally tired more than anything because it was a disappointing result in the end. We done well to keep coming back from behind but to have that goal go in during injury time, and to get the loss was disappointing.
What are some of the positives you can take away from the game?
Alex Scott: When they scored early on we fought back and got back into the game and when they got that second goal the character that we showed when we were behind. I suppose in a major competitions you don’t keep wanting to keep going behind, and having to claw your way back in all the time. There are definitely positives in our character.
When Spain attacked it looked like they were targeting you on your side of the pitch, what did you see?
Alex Scott: I suppose I’m known as an attacking full-back so teams want to try pin me back and stop me from attacking. For me it’s defending first and they’ve got good players all over the pitch so I knew that I was going to be up against good players and in for a tough game.
Did Veronica Boquete surprise you on the opening goal?
Alex Scott: No, obviously I know and the team knows that going into the game everyone’s done their homework. Boquete is a fantastic player with her movement and abilities on the ball so no she didn’t take us by surprise, we knew she was a great player.
England looked nervous in the first half, did you see that as well?
Alex Scott: Yea, looking back on it we talked about it as a team was there nervous energy going around. We’re all experienced players now so that shouldn’t be happening coming into major tournaments. We’ll sit down as a group and analyze what we need to do better, and we can’t afford to have nerves on Monday because it’s a must win game now.
England came out more focused, and in control in the second half. Was anything said at half-time?
Alex Scott: Yea definitely, we were just disappointed with our first half performance and we wanted to put that right in the second half. It was about us trying to step up our performance, and I think yea we started well and the second half was better than the first but looking back on it now we still lost the game so were all disappointed.
England’s defense struggled in the final ten minutes of the match… how can you improve your play?
Alex Scott: I think it’s not just the back line but defending all a whole eleven, and it isn’t just about individuals. It’s about keeping that shape as a whole group, and as a team. We will analyze the game today and see what areas we need to look at.
Is it anything to do with communication or players not being in the correct position?
Alex Scott: That’s something we’ll look at when we analyze the game. We’ve got leaders throughout the team, and we’re an experienced team now and sometimes as individuals you need to take that responsibility on yourself. We all know it’s going to be a hard game and you have to make those recovery runs but it’s wanting to do that.
What’s the key to beating Russia on Monday?
Alex Scott: It’s going to be hard but I think it’s about it’s about all of us stepping up our game. We know we’re a lot better than what we showed yesterday. I think it’s looking like at us to see what we can do a lot better, but Russia are a hard team.
You’ve touched on this a bit, but is this a crucial must-win game for both teams?
Alex Scott: Oh definitely!! Obviously Russia lost to France and we need three points so yea it’s definitely a must win game.
Do you think you can still win Group C?
Alex Scott: All our focus is now on — we need to win on Monday first of all. We’re not trying to look ahead. All our energy, and concentration is on getting a result on Monday.
What are your thoughts on potentially reaching your 100th cap on Monday?
Alex Scott: Everyone’s place is up for grabs especially after disappointing performances (Friday) so that’s down to the manager to pick who she thinks is the strongest team against Russia.
If you are selected how will you feel?
Alex Scott: It’s a strange one because if it does happen on Monday it’s not going to be at the forefront even though it will be a very proud moment. For me I want to win the game because if we don’t, then were going home… so it doesn’t matter if it’s going to be my 100th I still want to be in the tournament.
How has the fan support in Linkoping been for England?
Alex Scott: Fantastic! Normally they travel everywhere with us, and come and support us so we’re really appreciative of that. We’re seeing them outside wandering around and we always stop and talk with them.
Do you have anything else to add?
Alex Scott: We’ve worked really hard to get here so we don’t want to be going home at the first hurdle. We know there’s lot of improvements from us to come and hopefully on Monday were going to get a result.
NOTES: England had a closed afternoon training session at base camp in Linkoping on Saturday.
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