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Alex Scott discusses smaller goals in women’s football and Phil Neville’s England rotation policy

Sun Sport columnist Alex Scott says Emma Hayes' comments about reducing the size of goals in the women's game aren't valid

There is lots of debate about Chelsea boss Emma Hayes’ comments to reduce the size of goals and pitches in the women’s game — but I do not think that her argument is valid.

We need to give our goalkeepers the same level of training that we’ve given to our outfield players.

It shouldn’t be about making the goals smaller, it should be about making our goalkeepers better.

Alex Scott says rotation had a useful element of surprise at the 2015 World Cup

Getty - Contributor
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Alex Scott has been working as a pundit at the Women’s World Cup in France

I have been a part of a team where we failed to invest in our goalkeepers.

They didn’t have specialised individual training sessions.

Only in the last year have Arsenal brought in a full-time keeper coach.

Argentina goalkeeper Vanina Correa was named Player of the Match after her performance against the Lionesses

Getty - Contributor
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Argentina goalkeeper Vanina Correa was named Player of the Match after her performance against the Lionesses

Until then they would have a short goalkeeping session and then they would join in with the rest of us.

There was no one helping keepers improve their craft. It was down to them.

I knew that, to be the best right-back in the world, I had to improve my fitness so I could run up and down constantly for 90 minutes.

Scott in action for England against Germany

Times Newspapers Ltd
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Scott in action for England against Germany

It’s about improving as an athlete and a footballer.

Hayes is out on her own as a manager because every single player or keeper we’ve heard from so far is not in favour of these changes.

I’m travelling around France right now with a goalkeeper who was the best in the world — former US ace Hope Solo — and she strongly disagrees, too.

Hayes wants smaller goal-sizes – but Scott says the focus should be on expert training for keepers

Getty Images - Getty
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Hayes wants smaller goal-sizes – but Scott says the focus should be on expert training for keepers

Meanwhile, England are in a great position to top Group D and that has got to be our aim going into the next game against Japan.

I don’t see why we are making a big thing of Phil Neville’s rotation policy.

The Lionesses have bought into his system and I think they understand it’s part and parcel of the game now and you have to be ready for it.

This approach to rotation is nothing new.

The Lionesses are more than comfortable with the rotation policy of Phil Neville

EPA
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The Lionesses are more than comfortable with the rotation policy of Neville

In Canada 2015 our ability to rotate was one of our strengths. No one could predict our starting 11 as we would change the line-up according to our opponent.

Hope Powell didn’t have that option at the 2007 World Cup in China.

It’s not about any one player any more and that brings the squad together.

Everyone knows they will be involved at some point and will play their part.

Everyone must play their part this summer

PA:Press Association
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Everyone must play their part this summer

This England team knows it’s not about “me” but it’s about a “we” culture.

The moment you start strategically trying to map out a route to the final you can come unstuck.

Sometimes it happens organically but there’s no point aiming to finish second as a way to avoid certain nations.

No matter what, you’re going to end up meeting some of the best teams in the world.

The Lionesses are in a great position to top the group

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The Lionesses are in a great position to top the group

Winning the final group game on Wednesday would bring the Lionesses momentum and confidence and I am sure that’s what Neville will be saying.

It’s not like you can go into this game feeling like you can take it easy because you’ve already qualified for the knockout rounds.

It’s a World Cup and you don’t know if you’re going to get that opportunity again.



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