Sunderland’s Scott looking for Euro boost

Jill Scott in action against Spain on Friday
Jill Scott in action against Spain on Friday
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JILL Scott says England paid the price for their nerves during Friday’s loss to Spain in their Euro 2013 opener – but is confident they will get back on track against Russia tonight.

A stoppage-time own-goal by goalkeeper Karen Bardsley saw England slip to a 3-2 defeat in Linkoping that leaves them facing an uphill task to reach the knockout stages.

Russia are also desperate for the points after their Group C campaign opened with a 3-1 loss to France earlier on Friday, meaning both sides will be fired up for the contest.

But Wearsider Scott insists England should have no fears, despite allowing tension to get the better of them against the Spaniards.

“It was only the first game; there could have been a few nerves going into the first match,” she said.

“Our aim was always to come here and win the first three group games. There’s more importance on the Russia game now.

“But there’s a lot of belief in this squad. All the girls know what we need to do and we’re ready to put things right against Russia.

“We know that we have to be a lot tidier in possession. There was some positives to take – I felt we had a good defensive shape – but we just have to be better going forwards.”

The top two sides in each of the three four-team groups will proceed to the quarter-finals along with the two best third-place teams, so England can give their hopes a huge boost with all the points tonight.

Manager Hope Powell has every confidence England can regain the form that saw them go unbeaten for 16 months prior to their pre-tournament loss to Sweden last week.

And midfielder Anita Asante also believes England can take heart from past form.

“We’re confident in the squad and the character we’ve had and we’ve showed in previous competitions that we can manage it and get the result that we’re looking to get,” she said.