There is a British saying which reads, 'After the Lord Mayor's show comes the dust-cart,' meaning that a disappointing display can often come straight after a fantastic performance. However, while the Team GB players and the record-breaking crowd at Wembley Stadium celebrated the victory enthusiastically, Smith has promised that the players will be grounded as they prepare for Friday’s quarter-final.
“As we know, knockout football can be cruel,” Smith told FIFA.com. “We’ve won our three games so far, which is great, but the next game is everything. We need to perform on that day just as well as we did against Brazil, because if we don’t then we’ll be out of the tournament and all of our hard work will be for nothing.
“There was dancing and singing in the dressing room at the final whistle, but then it was straight in the ice baths because we know we have a tough game to prepare for. We’re in recovery mode now and in all honesty, there wasn’t too much to celebrate as we were already through anyway.”
Although the 33-year-old was part of a side which defeated Japan 2-0 in the group stages of the last FIFA Women’s World Cup™, Smith admitted that she was slightly pleased to avoid the world champions in the last eight, but also pointed to Canada’s goal threat for being a cause for concern.
“If I’m being totally honest, we weren’t really bothered about who we’d face,” she continued. “With the strength and depth of this squad we don’t fear anyone. But to a certain extent, given their style and the experience they have of winning the last World Cup, perhaps to some extent we’re pleased to avoid Japan. But Canada are in good form, particularly their strikers.
“Christine Sinclair is someone I admire greatly. Her goalscoring record speaks for itself. I’ve played against her many times in the WPS in America, so I know what she’s capable of.
“We’ve played against Canada a couple of times over the last few years so we know what they’re about and their style. Hopefully we can perform on the day like we did against Brazil, with the home support behind us and get us through to the semis.”
The only disappointing moment for Smith during the win at Wembley was her second-half penalty miss, but the forward has maintained a positive frame of mind and is already targeting goals to help her side on the road to gold.
“I was frustrated with myself for not connecting with the spot-kick better, but in the end it didn’t matter - we topped the group,” she smiled. “I know I’ll keep on getting the service and I’ll keep on getting the chances – and maybe I can put one in against Canada.”