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Lucy Bronze has spoken of England Women’s hopes of making the most of being hosts at next month’s Euros, with the team having recently talked with members of the men’s side about their experiences from last summer.
The last couple of weeks have seen both the Lionesses and their male counterparts – Euros runners-up a year ago after defeat on penalties to Italy at Wembley – spending time in camp at St George’s Park.
England Women are seeking glory on home soil this summer after going as far as the semi-finals at their last three major tournaments.
And Bronze – part of the team for each of those campaigns – said, when asked about the pressure of the tournament ahead, for which each of England’s group games and the Wembley final is sold out: “I think the best and biggest players want to play with that, want to play in those games, with the full crowds.
“And I think we’re trying to see it as just a lot of support. It’s our 12th man, hopefully.
“We saw what a difference it made to the men’s team last year and we’ve actually spoke to a lot of them in the past week about their experiences and what a difference it made, kind of being that home nation – even though they technically weren’t, but they were.
“Obviously they made the final so I think that’s something that we kind of want to replicate and use it to our advantage.
“Declan (Rice) and Kieran (Trippier) came in to talk to us as a group and speak about experiences, but equally, we’ve been in and around St George’s Park with them for the past couple of weeks, so we’ve chatted to a lot of them.
“It’s a nice atmosphere because I feel like both teams have gelled really well, which in the past I don’t think has really happened. They’re just our peers and they see us the same.”
Regarding fellow right-back Trippier, Bronze said: “For me, he had a lot of things to say because he’s a player that has been to tournaments before. Maybe has had a bit of stick from the media, obviously he played out of position last year.
“We were just talking about blocking out the outside world and things. I think that’s something that I’ve probably had to deal with more than most players in this England squad over the past years.
“It was nice to be able to speak to someone who kind of has these kind of issues and how they deal with those moments and what they do.”
When asked if she would settle for emulating the men’s team and getting to the final this summer, Bronze said with a smile: “No, I wouldn’t settle for that – I wouldn’t take it to penalties, we’d win the game in normal time!”
The 30-year-old – who is to leave Manchester City this summer at the end of her contract, it was announced last month – was speaking as Sarina Wiegman’s squad had one of their final sessions as a provisional 28-player group.
That is set to be cut to a final 23 for the tournament on Wednesday, a day before the team play the first of three warm-up matches, against Belgium at Molineux.
All 28 players took part in Monday’s session, including City defender Alex Greenwood, who left camp last week after testing positive for coronavirus.
Boss Wiegman was also back at St George’s Park having not been with the squad last week due to what the Football Association said was a “close family bereavement”.