Hills: ‘Be more streetwise’

Brent Hills has asked his England Women’s U19 side to be more “streetwise” following their 2-0 defeat by Sweden in the European Championship.

An own goal from Reading defender Molly Bartrip and a poacher’s strike from Stina Blackstenius consigned the Young Lions to an opening-day loss.

Hills said: “I have watched the game back and there a lot of positives that we can take from it. 

England 0-2 Sweden

UEFA Women’s U19 Championship finals
Group B
Tuesday 15 July 2014
Tonsberg, Norway

“Our play in the first two thirds was actually quite good and we did create chances, but didn’t have enough to trouble their back four and their goalkeeper in terms of finishing.

“We conceded an own goal and the other was a straight ball through the pitch. We defended really well, even if both goals were mistakes, we just need to be a bit more streetwise.”

Hills must now pick his squad up ahead of the second Group B encounter, against Republic of Ireland on Friday.

Ireland are making their debut appearance in the finals and registered a surprise 1-0 win over Spain on Tuesday.

But Hills is confident his young squad will learn from the defeat against Sweden as they prepare for their next European assignment.

“We try and win every game but we also try to gain as much valuable experience as possible”

Brent Hills 

“We have 17 players who can play next year at this age group, and four who can play in two years,” he added. 

“We try and win every game but we also try to gain as much valuable experience as possible.

“I was pleased with our play right up until their box but we can work on that ahead of the Ireland game.

“No-one would have expected Ireland to beat Spain, but if you speak to the manager [David Connell] he says they have got a very good side so we will have to be on our mettle.

“You don’t qualify from your first game and there are still six points to play for so we’ll give it our best shot.”