Masterclass Will Pay Dividends
Updated Sunday, 27th May 2012
It would odd if anybody enjoyed getting beaten. However, Gemma Fay can see the benefits of playing Sweden on Saturday which will pay dividends in EURO2013 qualification games
Gemma Fay is now Scotland's leading cap holder with 142 to her name following captaining the side against Sweden on Saturday. That is quite a tally by any standards. However, I am sure she would have been willing to trade a few if a clean sheet against the Swedes was part of the deal. A 4-1 reverse at home is never enjoyable but Fay was philosophical as she talked to the media while nursing a dead leg picked up when she and substitute Frankie Brown collided in the second half. You can often find out more about a team when they lose a game than when they win one. Playing one of the top five teams in the world allows you to learn the hard way. Earning her record breaking 142nd cap is a milestone Fay is happy to have reached but is glad that is is now in the past. She recognises that the focus has to be on the team rather than any individual and qualification for EURO2013 is the top priority for the team
A record 142 caps to her name: Gemma Fay (c) Ger Harley | SportPix
Asked what she thought of the game, Fay said: "4-1 against one of the best teams in the world, and I think they showed that today, still allowed us to create some very good chances and we have to take that from the game. We tried a different tactic in trying to deal with Lotta (Shelin), their number 8, who is on record as being the fastest player in women's football. When you are playing against someone like that you have to figure out a way to, first of all, prevent her getting the ball and if she does get the ball to prevent her from scoring. We tried to press them really high early on but we didn't quite get it right in the first half, we sat a little bit too deep and that gave them the opportunities, certainly to get the second goal, first goal we just needed to be tighter in our marking from corners. Second half, sloppy goals to lose again but we did create some really good chances ourselves. And we will take these positives out of it. We showed them too much respect in the first half, which was obvious, but we got closer to them in the second and we also tried to play more through the midfield. Joanne Love came in (as substitute) and we tried to find her a bit more then we started to work on the things we practiced in training in terms of getting the ball in, getting it back out instead of just straight passes. We stated to get a lot more joy out of that and we created some fantastic chances but were just unlucky not to score."
Looking ahead to games against Israel and the Republic of Ireland, Fay feels that the squad will have benefited from the game against Sweden. She went on: "I think in terms of pace of our attack, we have (benefitted). Obviously we have already played Israel over there, where we won 6-1, however they do have a few very good individual players and if we are not sharp, as you saw against Wales, if we take things for granted or think we will just win, it will not happen. It just doesn't happen in any international game at this moment in time. If you want to win and want to progress you have to put in the effort all over the park and not expect things to just happen. You have to make them happen."