London News & Search
Scotland head coach Anna Signeul refused to criticise her players despite a 6-0 defeat by England in their opening match at Euro 2017.
The Scots conceded three goals in each half on their major tournament debut.
Signeul had asked her players to perform at their best, but suggested first-time nerves played a bigger role than bad performances.
“It was a big occasion for many players. Maybe that showed at times,” said Signeul.
“The first time is the first time. It’s difficult when you lose an early goal and lose another and 3-0 at half-time is tough.
“Obviously we’re disappointed to lose so many goals.”
Scotland started well but things soon went downhill and Jodie Taylor scored a hat-trick, her first two coming in the first half.
Ellen White made it 3-0 before half-time and, following Taylor’s third before the hour mark, Jordan Nobbs’ volley and Toni Duggan’s injury-time header completed the rout.
“It was a tough debut for us,” continued Signeul. “We played against a very, very good team in England. I’d say they are contenders in this tournament.
“They were very good in all areas. We knew that from the beginning. But we’ll learn from it as we always do. We’ll work on our resilience and come back.
“It’s not over for us. We will rise again, because in three days’ time we’re playing Portugal and that’s the main focus now.”
Signeul also alluded to the loss of key players like Kim Little and Jenny Beattie in the build-up to the tournament as she expressed concern at yet further potential damage to her squad.
Jane Ross went off holding an ice pack to her shoulder.
“We’ve had some losses on the way here in terms of personnel,” she said. “Unfortunately I think we maybe lost another player in Jane Ross – one of our best players on the pitch.
“That’s another tough thing to take, but we don’t know yet – they’re just on their way to hospital.”
On Sunday, Scotland face Portugal, who also lost their opening match – 2-0 to Spain – with second place in the group still up for grabs.
Goalkeeper Gemma Fay felt the Scots showed encouraging signs in the second half.
“The goals we lost – there were a couple that were good play by England, but scrappy from us and that’s what we’re probably most disappointed in,” said Fay.
“Credit to England, they showed why they’re ranked top five in the world.
“They have a lot of tournament experience, this is our first. It doesn’t matter how well you prepare for that in friendlies, it’s a different thing.
“We played better in the second half in terms of ball retention and creating chances which was good, but if we don’t defend properly or we give them opportunities they’re going to take it and that’s what they did.”
London News & Search