Women's World Cup - England star denies 'cowardice'

Tue, 12 Jul 10:34:00 2011

England's Casey Stoney has denied accusations by manager Hope Powell that some of her players are cowards.

Women's World Cup - Star denies 'cowardice'

Powell made the criticism following a penalty shoot-out defeat to France in the quarter-finals of the World Cup as she claimed certain unnamed players were reluctant to volunteer to take a spot-kick.

"Three times I had to ask [for volunteers] before anyone stepped forward," Powell said.

"'Where are you?' I was thinking, and then a young kid is the first to put her hand up. And Kelly Smith was dying on her feet but she stepped up and took one.

"You've got to want to take a penalty, but other players should have come forward and they didn't. That's weak, it's cowardice."

However, experienced defender Stoney says the manager gave a very different appraisal of the team in the aftermath of the defeat.

"I don't think anyone's a coward and that's not the impression I got from Hope when she debriefed us after the game," Stoney told BBC Radio 5 live.

"She said she was very proud and we should hold our heads up high."


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