England are still not over their semi-final defeat at this summer’s Women’s World Cup, says Carly Telford.
Phil Neville’s side narrowly lost 2-1 to the United States, and the team are still getting over the disappointment despite the game taking place nearly three months ago.
“I think it will take a long time for a lot of us, especially the older ones that might not get another chance to go to one,” the 32-year-old Telford said.
“We know how close we were, how close it was, the opportunity we had and it was just a really bitter pill to swallow.
“I don't even know how to start to get over that and I think the only way to do it is switching onto the next thing.
“I think we probably lingered a bit over that World Cup at [the] last camp, whereas now we've kind of parked that bus where we can just focus on the new cycle,” the goalkeeper explained, with England settling for a disappointing draw with Belgium before losing 2-1 to Norway in August.
But Telford has noticed differences already between starting that international break and the current one.
“I'd say even just looking at everyone on Monday when we met up, everyone looked fresher, everyone seems a lot more lively.
“We can make excuses, it was a bit of a World Cup hangover, I think we have not a great track record after major tournaments.
“But I think the difference is everyone is a few weeks into their seasons.
“The hardest thing people don't realise is the mental shift you have to have after a major tournament.
“You put three years of effort into six weeks and the mental overload of we're going to win, we're going to win, and okay, you fall at the first hurdle, you're out in the semis, okay we're going to get bronze, and then you come out with nothing.
“I think you don't realise how much that hits you.”
Telford had her own positives from the summer, where she made her World Cup debut at her third tournament.
Now, with first choice ‘keeper Karen Bardsley out injured, the Chelsea shot-stopper has a real chance to impress ahead of the Olympics and she is ready to take it.
“When you finally get to play in a major tournament, that's the first time you really get to experience the feeling that you want to feel, if that makes sense,” she explained.
“You turn around and look up into the crowd and you see everything. This is it, this is the feeling, this is the moment you've been waiting for.
“It's like 12, 15 years of fighting, and I'm like, 'I don't want to give this up'.
“I do not want to give someone else a go.”
But Telford is also being kept on her toes by a good handful of talented goalkeepers.
Mary Earps is in fine form for Manchester United, Ellie Roebuck promises to be an England regular for years to come and Sandy MacIver, currently in college in the United States, has also had call-ups recently.
“Mary, Ellie and Sandy are fantastic goalkeepers and doing so well and are so hungry too. It's so nice to see. [They’re] pushing us on to be better.
“We've got someone like Ell who you can put in goal at 20 years old and feel very comfortable.
“When you see her on the team sheet no one is going, ‘oh no, f**king hell’.
“It's Ells. She plays for Man City, Champions League. Mary, who has had a great couple of games for Man Utd, you know she's capable for England. KB, me, Sandy.
“Ultimately, we want to be the best goalkeeping unit in the world and anyone of us could play at any time. I think you can see that.”