Carly Telford Column: “I wouldn’t like to be Phil now picking 23 players to go to France, good luck to him!”

Carly Telford talks internationals, FA Cup semi final, Champions League tie with Lyon and suffering a concussion in training and how it affected her.

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One win, one defeat

I think we’re in a good place with England. The defeat to Canada was disappointing, of course, and as much as some people criticised Phil [Neville] for rotating so close to a World Cup, we’ve still got two games with the selected squad to practice with what he might go with for the first tournament match against Scotland.

You’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. If you play the same team for four or five games leading up to the selection, you get everyone criticising that half the players haven’t had a chance and vice versa people will be panicking that there’s too much rotation and nobody really knows what the starting eleven is.

He’s given everyone a real opportunity to show what they can do. We’d have loved to come out with two wins but we know these teams are very good, we have to adapt and be better than we were against Canada. I felt against Spain it was a progression, watching it from home I thought the first 20 minutes it was going to be similar to the Euro’s game where we had to counter, but we showed we can match them and play the sort of football we showed at SheBelieves, the bravery to play out in certain situations and get the ball forward.

We weren’t aggressive enough against Canada and we didn’t move the ball quick enough. Having a loss isn’t the end of the world, it gives you a reality check, you don’t want to go in thinking your world beaters and you’ll beat everyone, you have to find different ways to win.

I wouldn’t like to be Phil now picking 23 players to go to France, good luck to him! Hopefully I’ve done enough to be warranted a seat. If not, it is what it is and I’ll support the team.

Concussion

Obviously, I had to miss both the games and I suffered a concussion in training before the match against Canada.

I got a lot of comments on Twitter just saying I must be soft and I was on the verge of replying because what the video doesn’t show is I actually carried on training for another 15 minutes.  Looking back, that was silly to do because you don’t really realise you’re actually concussed.

I was fine, I got up and carried on doing my set. We did some crossing and then I just remember everything started feeling really slow. The girls started jogging past and it was just like slow motion. I went back in to finish my set off and apparently I was talking really slowly. To me, I wasn’t speaking any differently but I was sent to see the physio and she told me I was talking really, really slowly.

 

 

I almost went into a state of euphoria. It was like I was completely off my head. I was in a state of happiness, smiling and staring into space. My eyes felt heavy, I had a cracking headache, it was just the weirdest thing.

I was sent to my room for the rest of the day. No TV, no phone etc. I did it on the Tuesday and on Wednesday morning I didn’t feel too bad, but on Thursday we had a meeting and my head was just pounding, all on the side I got hit. I spent another day in my room, we got to Manchester and the bus journey killed me, I’ve never felt so ill in my life.

It was like a really bad hangover. Nothing felt ok and they decided to send me home on Friday because I didn’t have enough time to beat the seven-day protocol to be fit for Spain. I got really sick over the weekend but fortunately I’m ok now.

 

It was such an innocuous incident. I’ve had footballs to the head and face before but this one caught me and spun my head, it gave my brain a good rattle! Ellie [Roebuck], bless her, she was so apologetic and couldn’t send me enough messages to say sorry but it’s one of those things.

Bowing out of the FA Cup

The concussion made me miss our FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City. I was still symptomatic but I was in training doing gym and non-contact but the first time I could do work with the ball was on the Saturday when we travelled to Manchester.

A lot of people have spoken about our large goalkeeping department but it helped us because I didn’t have to travel. I remember Ellie saying she had to travel with Man City after she got concussed and it wasn’t pleasant so I watched from home.

It was a very tentative game. I think we had the better chances and if we’d scored early on I don’t think the result would have gone a different way but that’s the magic of the FA Cup, or not so magic in our case!

I haven’t asked any questions of Ann-Katrin [Berger] or Magda [Eriksson] because I think it would be cruel to. People have asked should AKB have shouted but we’re in a team environment, it doesn’t change anything and it’s just unfortunate. It was a weird ending to the game, it happened so late and it didn’t give us a chance to recover.

Magda was gutted and she didn’t deserve that because she’s been so solid for us all season. That’s all you can say really, there wasn’t much else going on in the game. I think both teams looked quite tired, nobody strung a lot of passes together but it is what it is and it’s just unfortunate it had to happen that way.

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A date with Lyon

We’ve got something nice to bounce back on this weekend with a nice easy game! Once we’d had a few poor results in the league we knew it would be difficult to make the Champions League spots but this opportunity has come along and we still have a chance.

We haven’t played Lyon and in truth we were probably glad to avoid Wolfsburg because they’ve beaten us a few times now. It doesn’t make it easier but sometimes you need something different and it’s a bit of a monkey off the back kind of thing not playing them.

It’s just 11 vs 11 at the end of the day. We know how good Lyon are but they’re beatable, they’re not invincible. We will give them respect but if we can go there and take our game to them we can get something and take something back to Kingsmeadow.

We have to have that mentality. We have to go out and be better than we were away at PSG, a lot better. We have to be brave, brave enough to execute our football and it will be important to be disciplined when we don’t have the ball because there will be large periods where we don’t have it.

It’s two legs, two games and we’re not taking anything away from Lyon at all because we know the task is going to be a very difficult one, but we’ll go there and give it our best shot.

Follow Carly on Twitter @carlytelford1

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