Mixed feelings were very much the theme in the aftermath of England’s semi-final defeat to the Netherlands on Friday night. Both Coach Bobby Crutchley and one of the captains Phil Roper expressed their frustration at a good performance but ultimately at missing out on the gold medal match.
“We must be pleased with some things we did but we’re not happy because we didn’t get what we wanted.” said Crutchley. “We had some good performances and some naivety but we’ll continue to learn and develop and be better for the experience.”
Phil Roper one of the team’s captains echoed those sentiments saying that it’s “difficult to be pleased when we’ve lost” but that he was proud of how England took the game to the Dutch.
“They’re a talented team and playing them at home is hard but we really kept to our plan. We started the game well. Going a couple down at the half was difficult but we really fought and played some good stuff. We created some chances but we need to start to put those chances away. They have some world class strikers and we matched them all over but they were more clinical than us.”
With defeat to the Netherlands setting up a bronze medal clash with Germany, 4-3 winners over England in the pool stages, a familiar matchup is set for England and Roper:
“Germany are a talented side but we know we are capable of beating them. We want to put right what happened in the group and get the bronze. We came here to win a medal and that’s still possible. We’ll rest, do the work and come back and try to put in a good performance.”
Crutchley describes the Germans as a “different challenge” but with England improving with every game it is a challenge he thinks his side will be up to:
“We’re motivated for the Germany game. It’s the next step for us. This is a tough tournament so coming out with a medal will be fantastic for us, we’ll be delighted. It’ll be a different challenge but it’s one we’ll relish. If we keep improving who knows what could happen?”
England’s steep learning curve continues tomorrow against Germany, with experiences to be gained, and, if they have their way, a bronze medal, too.