Monday, July 23

By Steph Houghton

Stephanie Houghton

The Sweden game was a tough one for us. We started really well and I think we were quite happy with our performance in the first half in terms of possession and trying to create chances. In the second half we were a bit sloppier and our passing wasn't as good as we'd hoped. That is obviously something we need to put right against New Zealand.

It was definitely helpful because everyone got a run-out and at least 45 minutes under their belt. It was good to get on the pitch and get used to the way that we are going to play. Hopefully we can make sure we are settled before Wednesday's game against New Zealand.

I thought I did well personally. I watched the clips back yesterday and there are obviously a few things I can work on as a left back but I was quite happy with my performance. I even got close to scoring! I actually caught the ball quite sweet but I think it was always going over. I could have done a bit better to try and get it on target but I shouldn't be that far forward anyway to be fair.

After our game we had ice baths and recovery but after that we went up to watch the men in action. We stayed in the same hotel as them as we prepared for Sweden and at night we would sit and chat with them. They're a lovely bunch of lads who want to find out about our football and what we do outside of the game.

One night we sat with Aaron [Ramsey], James Tomkins and Jason Steele - we went swimming and they were in the pool as well. They're a great bunch of lads, really interesting.

On Saturday we travelled to Cardiff, so we got a bit of a lie-in and then got a chartered flight there which took about 45 minutes. It was a recovery day so we had time to have a look around the city and walk around the shops. After dinner we decided to go to the cinema (Batman, obviously) and we were quite lucky because they gave us a private screening! It was excellent of course and everybody really enjoyed it.

I think it also helps not being in the same hotel and you do get the chance to go out a little bit. It helps keep the squad fresh.

Yesterday we had the morning off so me, Ells and Kim went for a bit of beauty treatment! Then it was another walk around the shops and training in the afternoon at the University of Cardiff's training ground.

In important news, me and Ellen are still table tennis doubles champions after beating Fara [Williams] and Anita [Asante] last night! We haven't played it that much over the last week but we did get another chance. They were actually getting a bit cocky but me and Ells still tore it up. Arsenal are still champions!

The next two days are all about preparation for Wednesday's crucial opener at the Millennium Stadium. Keep checking the site for the latest updates from Team GB.

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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 23 Jul 2012