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Wales travel to Holland to play their second UEFA Championship qualifying group match on Sunday. Welsh midfielder Jessica Fishlock gives us a preview of the match including their summer preparations and last week's friendly against Arsenal:
The training camp and game against Arsenal was just going to be in preparation for the upcoming game against Holland.
We are playing on the new 3G/4G generation pitch over in Amsterdam and so our Coach wanted us to get a feel for the surface, and then do some some work with us as a unit against Holland as, obviously, they are a stronger squad. We trained on the generation pitch but as you are aware we didn't play on it (I find grass so much better). It was good to get together and do some training as we haven't done so since the game against Germany. That's quite a long time.
Unfortunately our squad was not our strongest, with players being out injured and some competing in other competitions such as Europe and the World University Games. This wasn't great for preparation but was good experience for the younger girls that came and played. They all trained and played well and it is a good stepping stone for them in the future. Many still play in the Under-19 squad and one or two in the Under-17.
The game against Arsenal was always going to be tough ... many of them at their peak as they have been training hard for last six weeks for the World Cup. The first 30-35 minutes for us was very frantic - we as a team didn't perform great, Arsenal however started really well. It was difficult as most of us had only met the day before, many having not played at this level before. Playing alongside them straight away against a very structured team was hard.
After that time period, we started to understand each other and who was playing etc, and we started to cope with them a lot better. Obviously the damage had already been done by then so it was just a case of damage limitation and working together as a unit.
The second half was much better, we all spoke at half time and sorted a few problems out. Arsenal found it very hard to break us down, this obviously reflecting in the scoreline as they only scored twice in the second half, one being a defensive error on our part. We opted to go man to man rather than switching the players in midfield as their movement was incredible, that worked much better for us as they didn't have much time on the ball and played more long balls than short sharp passes. Overall - a rocky first half but a more solid second half.
We are meeting on Friday for Sunday's game, with again a more younger and inexperienced squad due to injuries but still enough talent to go and do a job. I am hoping that, if we play to our full potential and to how our manager wants us to play, we will do fine - we have more than enough talent to get a result in Amsterdam, it's just down to how much we want it.
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