England Women on right track for Euros but Sarina Wiegman wants more ruthlessness after Belgium win

·2-min read
England Women on right track for Euros but Sarina Wiegman wants more ruthlessness after Belgium win

After the full-time whistle at Molineux last night, Sweet Caroline blared out over the PA system and the England Women team enjoyed a lap of honour around the pitch.

It was in stark contrast to the scenes at the same ground just 48 hours earlier, when Gareth Southgate’s men’s side were booed off, following a 4-0 defeat by Hungary.

That was a significant bump in the road as England get ready for this year’s World Cup in Qatar, but the Lionesses got their preparations for their own major tournament next month off to a solid start.

It was a commanding performance from Sarina Wiegman’s side, who should have won by a more emphatic margin, and on this evidence they are rightly contenders to win this summer’s Euros.

England have a squad blessed with an enviable amount of talent, summed up by their match-winners yesterday coming off the bench to inspire them to victory.

England brushed aside Belgium at Molineux as they stepped up preparations for the Euros (PA)
England brushed aside Belgium at Molineux as they stepped up preparations for the Euros (PA)

Winger Chloe Kelly created the first goal just after the hour mark, when her shot was deflected in, before moments later fellow substitute Rachel Daly volleyed home a second. An own goal late on rounded off a good night’s work for England, who finished the game with more than 60 per cent possession and 25 shots on goal.

“We have 23 [players] and you can bring in all the players,” said Wiegman. “So, yes, I hope I don’t get a headache, but in this case I want to get lots of headaches!”

Wiegman has two more warm-up games to assess her squad before England begin their Euros campaign, against Austria on July 6 at Old Trafford.

Judging by last night, Wiegman has some tough calls to make, particularly in attack, where competition for places is most fierce. England scored three goals but should have added more — and throughout her time in charge, Wiegman has called for the team to be more ruthless.

Having won the Euros with the Netherlands in 2017, she knows exactly what it takes to go all the way in the tournament — and she is pushing this squad to give her more.

“I think when you win 3-0 it’s enough,” she said. “When you go into the Euros, we need a little more ruthlessness.”

England have two more games to find that “ruthlessness” before the Euros starts, but last night suggested they are on the right track.

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