Sermanni: ‘A lot of things we need to work on’
New Zealand coach Tom Sermanni has played down his side’s performance following a 2-0 Cup of Nations win over Argentina on Sunday afternoon, noting preparations have only just begun ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™.
The Football Ferns were outplayed in a number of the match’s statistics, including possession, passing accuracy and shots on goal during the 90 minutes.
GOOD FORM: Gilenik reveals secret behind purring Westfield Matildas front line
RE-LIVE: All the Cup of Nations action from Match Day Two
REPORT: Kerr double leads Westfield Matildas in convincing win over Korea Republic
REPORT: Football Ferns bounce back with hard fought win over Argentina
And, despite coming away with the win thanks partly to a Catherine Bott thunderbolt, Sermanni conceded his side had a long way to go if they are to register their first ever win in a FIFA Women's World Cup tournament.
“Realistically, we’re at a very early stage of preparation so I don’t want to say everything, but there are a lot of things we need to work on,” said Sermanni.
“We need to look down to even what system we’re going to play, how we’re going to play — are we going to be a team that presses high? Are we going to be a team that drops off?
“There’s a whole range of things I don’t know the answer to yet because, frankly, I just haven’t had enough time (with the players) for that situation to evolve."
It wasn’t all negativity from Sermanni, who lauded the importance of tournaments such of the Cup of Nations which give players vital playing time and coaches the chance to understand their squads.
Sermanni took charge of New Zealand in October last year, following the resignation of Andreas Heraf.
Given less than a year to prepare for the upcoming World Cup in France, Sermanni was cagey in his assessment of the 2-0 win.
“Always happy with the win, happy with the clean sheet,” said Sermanni.
“I thought our performance was probably a bit rusty — we made five changes from the starting team the other night, and it took us a while to get into the swing.
“This tournament has given me an opportunity to have a much closer look at players and to give some players some opportunities they haven’t been able to have.”
Borrello: Westfield Matildas are ‘one of the best in the world’
Argentina coach Carlos Borrello heaped praised onto the Westfield Matildas ahead of their clash against Ante Milicic’s side on Wednesday night.
Borrello was asked about his team’s performance in the context of their Cup of Nations campaign, with the Albicelestes losing back-to-back against Korea Republic and New Zealand.
The 63-year-old welcomed the clash with Australia as a prime opportunity to prepare for the FIFA Women's World Cup in June.
“We know (the Westfield Matildas) are a really complicated team for us, one of the best in the world,” said Borrello.
“We have to know not to look at the result — of course we’re going to try the best we can.
"Today we played better than the last game, we hope the next game is better than this one."
That Borrello and his side were focussing on the bigger picture appeared to be a consistent theme by all teams in the inaugural Cup of Nations.
With just over three months until France kick start the tournament against Korea Republic, the teams on Australian shores knew the Cup of Nations would provide the perfect hit-out before June.
“Coming here is a good preparation in top-level matches ,playing against such good teams, so this is our preparation for the World Cup,” said Borrello.
“We have to look beyond the final result because we’re trying to get experience for our players.
“We aren’t too far away from the best teams, but it’s a long way and we’re in the beginning.”