England must focus on the present to banish semi-final ghosts, says Sarina Wiegman ahead of Sweden showdown

England must focus on the present to banish semi-final ghosts, says Sarina Wiegman ahead of Sweden showdown

England head coach Sarina Wiegman has told her squad to focus on the present, and not their previous semi-final failures, as they prepare to face Sweden for a spot in the Women’s Euro 2022 final.

The Lionesses are facing Sweden in the semi-final of the tournament and it is the fourth time in a row they have reached that stage of a major competition.

On the three previous occasions, however, England have been eliminated and they are determined to end that run. Wiegman believes her squad can learn from those defeats, but she has also urged them to put them to one side and focus on the present.

“I think it is necessary to be in the now and I do think you always have to learn from your experiences and take out the things you can take out to be better, become better or to learn,” she said.

“But it’s no use now to talk about that all the time because it’s now. It is now. So why should we talk about that all the time?”

Defender Millie Bright is one of those to have suffered semi-final heartache before and she too is focusing on the present.

“We are on a new journey. It’s a new path for us as a group,” she said. “Like I said, [we’ve got] different players in, so for us it’s kind of a fresh slate almost and again we focus on the here and the now.

“The position we are in as a squad going into this game is that we are in a very good position and we are ready to fight in the game. Everyone is feeling great.”

England have played in front of sold-out crowds during this Euros and it will be no different on Tuesday when they face Sweden at Bramall Lane.

Wiegman has praised the impact of supporters so far and has urged them to make the difference once more.

“I think reaching the semi-final has been really great already and we saw that we brought a lot of inspiration,” she said.

“But I think our fans gave us a lot of inspiration too. We are only focused on tomorrow and that’s what it is, and we hope we get the result that we want. I hope [the fans] are going to bring us lots of energy again.

“We will do that ourselves, but it was really an extra thing and an extra dimension what we got in our last games. That’s really exciting and we are going to make them proud again.”