Oh goodness, it’s a coach saying smart things. Imagine my glee! After New Zealand totally blew a great opportunity to progress into the quarterfinal round of the U-20 Women’s World Cup today, this is what NZ coach Aaron McFarland had to say about that:
“Going into that game as much as we talk about having a positive mindset, in the back of your mind it’s hard to get rid of that nagging thought telling you just need a draw, so when they score that first goal the mental focus now needs to shift. I didn’t think we were ready to take the game by the scruff of the neck from the outset.
“We’re happy to keep the ball but at certain times when we are talking about being positive and trying to win the game it didn’t feel at times like we had full belief in our own abilities to get on the ball in the final third and make things happen.
“That’ll come with more exposure. Playing more games, more frequently will help our players get over the fear of trying to play that style of football under that sort of pressure.”
There is so much truth in all of that, and I’m so, so happy that New Zealand can actually acknowledge what really went wrong for them.