Friday, August 3

By Steph Houghton

Stephanie Houghton

The feedback we have been getting since Tuesday night has just been unreal. Some people have said it was the best game they have watched in the Olympics so far, so that is a great honour for us and we wanted to take the opportunity with both hands.

We did that and hopefully we can continue to encourage young girls to keep playing or take up the game. Fingers crossed it has given women's football a massive boost in this country because I think it is what I think we all needed.

After my goal against New Zealand I said my dad had started a scrapbook - now it's more like a novel! I'm sure there will be a lot more paper cuttings now after he's been to the shops to buy all of the papers. It is all so overwhelming and hasn't really sunk in. As a squad we have had to keep our feet on the ground and focus on today.

On Wednesday afternoon we travelled up to Coventry. The morning was all about massages after Tuesday night's test to unwind before we left the Olympic Village.

We had the morning off on Thursday before training to look ahead to tonight's game. It has been all about focusing on our game against Brazil, looking at how Canada play and how we can stop them. We obviously want to exploit their weaknesses.

We are just excited about getting back into action again now. We think Coventry's Ricoh Arena has almost sold out, so there is obviously a massive buzz. The main thing now is getting through to the semi-finals and I am sure we will be prepared both mentally and physically for it. It is just as exciting as the Wembley game to be honest as we know we are one step closer towards the semi-finals and final.

You don't really go into a tournament without being confident that you can go and beat teams. I think we have showed in the last three performances that we are getting better and better. Now we just have to make sure everybody stays fit and healthy and that we manage to keep everybody that way. If we can do that I think we have a really good chance of going far. We said at the start of the tournament that we would take it one step at a time and not look too far ahead.

We know that Canada are going to be very organised, and they are also big and strong. We think they like to play quite direct as well so they will of course provide some really tough opposition. They will want to get at us and put us under pressure early. We just have to be aware of that.

Now we can't afford any slip-ups but at the same time we will always be going for the win. It is going to be very exciting and we want to make sure we stay in this tournament for as long as we can. That is everybody's attitude - we just want to stay in the Olympics for as long as possible!

OLYMPICS BLOG ARCHIVE:

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 3 Aug 2012