Football: England confident of strong showing

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The Independent Online
THE ENGLAND women's coach, Hope Powell, is spoiled for choice with a squad of 19 that should have no problems defeating Romania in tomorrow's vital second leg Uefa play-off at Wycombe.

The hosts will be without former Wembley and Arsenal striker Kelly Smith, who is studying in America, but are in a strong position with a 4-1 first- leg win already in the bag.

Powell, meanwhile, is still on a learning curve four months into her job and has admitted she found it hard to adjust at first.

"Coaching compared to playing is much harder than you think," she said. "With the playing side, you got told what to do and you got on with it, whereas in coaching there is a lot of prior planning that goes on, and with a few helpful tips, I have managed to find my feet.

"It's been pretty good, and I hope my job will be made that much easier with a win against Romania to settle the nerves and keep English women's football in the top tier of European football," added Powell.

Australia and New Zealand equalled the record for the largest victory in an international, scoring 21-0 routs in the Oceania Women's Championship. Australia slammed American Samoa and the Kiwis thumped Western Samoa.

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