GB will handle hype, says Powell
Great Britain women's football coach Hope Powell believes her side will cope with the hype and massive expectation levels when they bid for an Olympic semi-final spot tonight against Canada.
The majority of a sell-out crowd of 32,000 at the City of Coventry Stadium will be looking for GB to move another step closer to medal glory. But Powell expects GB to thrive on such demands even though they and their opponents were prevented from training at the stadium last night because of concerns over the pitch.
She said: "I don't think it (the expectation) has been a distraction. The unprecedented attention after the first game inspired the girls to keep doing well. They enjoy the adulation and attention and want to stay in the competition. It is more of a positive than negative."
Powell added: "They are very grounded, recognise what is at stake and remain focused.
"Our ambition is to win every game. Everyone wants to put themselves into a position where they can go for medals. We are no different."
FIFA and LOCOG decided to protect the surface after the recent schedule of 10 games in seven days and spells of heavy rain and both nations were forced to train at Warwick University. But Canada have the advantage of having already played twice at the stadium during the tournament.
Powell, when asked if it was frustrating not to train at the stadium, said: "Yes. We only found out very late on Thursday afternoon.
"It is a little bit disappointing. We just have to get on with it. Does it give Canada an advantage? They have played on the surface twice. But the girls are hopefully professional enough to just get on with the job and so it won't be a distraction to us."