Hope Powell was forced to bring on her star names as England women struggled to overcome Turkey, ranked 57th in the world, in their second World Cup qualifier, here in Izmir yesterday. Karen Carney, who had not played since September's European Championship final defeat to Germany, entered the fray with 27 minutes left, and helped shake her team from their lethargy.
After 77 minutes, the 22-year-old winger found Alex Scott who finished neatly from close range and the relief was tangible. England scored twice more in the dying minutes, through another substitute Lianne Sanderson and Rachel Unitt.
But Powell, who was unable to call upon eight first-choice players, was livid at her team's performance. "I know we had a lot of people missing but I would expect that starting XI to get the job done," she said.
"We lacked quality and some of the passing was atrocious from some players you would expect a lot more of. I'm pleased with the three points but not enamoured with the performance.
"I had a few words at half-time and told the players that they must take responsibility in their performance. In the second half we did better and I think the changes helped.
"I really wanted to get some of the younger players on but it doesn't always go according to plan." Only the top team in Group Five will have a chance of making the finals in Germany in 2011 and, with Spain also unbeaten, Powell continued: "It looks like it is going to be a shoot-out with them. But if we perform like we did in the first half then we won't be going anywhere."
Looking back on the most successful year in England women's 37-year history, she added: "We won't be satisfied until we win a major tournament. Ultimately, we want to be the best team in the world, which means gold. We're so close, yet we're a million miles away."
Turkey (4-1-4-1): Yilmaz; Kirac (Gurbuz, 83), Demir, Belci, Ercimen; Yag (Ertuk, 86); Koc (Seker, 71), Bakir, Kara, Defterli (capt); Elgalp. Substitutes not used: Ozyumsak, Erol, Ersoy, Yagmur.
England (4-2-3-1): Bardsley; Scott, White (capt), Bassett, Unitt; Buet (Carney, 64), Williams; Clarke (Sanderson, 76), Westwood, Smith; Handley (Dowie, 84). Substitutes not used: Chamberlain, Susi, Whelan, Williams.
Referee: S Bastos (Portugal).Reuse content