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Last Updated: Friday, 26 October 2007, 10:55 GMT 11:55 UK
England women urged to show class
By Tony Leighton

Kelly Smith
Kelly Smith and co must play for their futures on Saturday

England's women footballers have been urged to show their class in the European Championships qualifier against Belarus at Walsall on Saturday.

Coach Hope Powell, entering her 10th year in the job, has kept faith with the same players who reached the last eight in the World Cup in the summer.

But the 40-year-old said: "We've got youngsters coming through and nobody should think their place is safe.

"I've had a long chat with the girls and told them this is all about 2009."

Powell added: "We'll be expected to beat Belarus, but if we're complacent we can shoot ourselves in the foot - so I'll be expecting a professional performance."

England's efforts in China have lifted them to 10th in the world rankings, 30 places above Belarus.

A full house will inspire the girls to put on a good show and, more importantly I hope, to get the result we want

Hope Powell

Belarus, meanwhile, have lost two of their three group games to date, though they won 5-0 against Northern Ireland - who England beat 4-0 in the only qualifier they have so far played.

Powell's team are expected to qualify from Group One for the 2009 Euro finals, to be played in Finland.

And in front of a capacity crowd at the Bescot Stadium they will be out to justify their reputation.

Powell said: "It's difficult after the euphoria of a great World Cup to raise motivation levels.

"So it's good that we're playing this game so soon after China and in front of a sell-out crowd.

"A full house will inspire the girls to put on a good show and, more importantly I hope, to get the result we want."

England squad: Brown (Everton), Chamberlain (Chelsea), A. Scott (Arsenal), Unitt (Everton), Asante (Arsenal), Phillip (Arsenal), White (Arsenal), Stoney (Chelsea), Chapman (Arsenal), Johnson (Everton), Williams (Everton), J. Scott (Everton), Yankey (Arsenal), Carney (Arsenal), Exley (Doncaster Rovers Belles), S. Smith (Leeds United), K. Smith (Arsenal), Aluko (Chelsea), Sanderson (Arsenal), Handley (Everton).



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