England boss Sarina Wiegman isn’t motivated by unbeaten record
Sarina Wiegman’s focus is on trying to improve England and not their long unbeaten run under her management.
The Lionesses, who Wiegman guided to European Championship glory last summer, will play the 30th match of her tenure in their next outing, April’s clash with Brazil at Wembley.
England are yet to lose since she took charge in September 2021 and have won 25 times, including all three fixtures at this month’s Arnold Clark Cup en route to retaining the trophy.
Following the 6-1 thrashing of Belgium at Ashton Gate on Wednesday that concluded that campaign, the England boss was asked about the unbeaten run and if she spoke to her players about losing.
And Wiegman, whose side are building towards the summer’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, said: “I actually don’t speak about that record at all.
“You keep the data updated very well, so it’s ‘OK, this is where we are’, and of course it’s really nice.
“You want to win every game – that’s just the standard of this team. We don’t want to win the game because (we are unbeaten in) 29. Of course it’s really nice – so let’s play 200 games and win all of them. But that’s not what we are focused on.
“We are focused on our style of play and how we can improve that in all the parts of the game, in possession, out of possession, in transition moments, and that’s what we are talking about all the time, to make the chance of winning the next game as high as possible.”
Right place. Right time.
⚽️ @Chloe_Kelly98 pic.twitter.com/t32Ng4UL4U
— Lionesses (@Lionesses) February 22, 2023
Needing only a draw against Belgium to complete a successful Arnold Clark Cup defence after beating South Korea 4-0 and Italy 2-1, England took the lead in Bristol through Chloe Kelly’s 12th-minute finish and doubled the advantage just before the break courtesy of a header from skipper Leah Williamson.
Kelly, scorer of the winner in last summer’s Euros final, netted again in the 50th minute as she ended up with the tournament’s Golden Boot.
A Julie Biesmans own goal made it 4-0, and Lucy Bronze and Williamson added late efforts, either side of a fine strike from Belgium substitute Elena Dhont.
England goalkeeper Mary Earps looked considerably disappointed after Dhont’s goal, and Wiegman said: “The standard is really high and you don’t want to concede a goal, and she’s the goalkeeper so she really doesn’t. As a team we won’t want that, and she doesn’t want that either, so of course she was not happy with that goal.
“But sometimes…you can always say ‘what could we do better’, but I think it was a pretty good action by Dhont too. Yes, we should have blocked the shot, you can say all those things, but I think it was a pretty good action.”