Fara Williams: 'Tired' Lionesses must improve against Argentina in Women's World Cup

Assistant Producer
Yahoo Sport UK

Fara Williams says England’s Lionesses will have to improve as they prepare to face Argentina in the Women’s World Cup on Friday night.

Williams, speaking on Yahoo Sport’s The Football Show 24/7, heaped praise on Phil Neville’s side’s first half performance against Scotland, but insisted the second ‘just wasn’t good enough’.

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“[In the] second half, after the disallowed goal from Beth Mead, I think Scotland took complete control, I don’t know if England took their foot off the pedal a little bit.

“I think they were lacking movement a little bit, I think they looked tired at times and certainly Scotland took control of the game and deserved their goal.”

Claire Emslie celebrates her goal for Scotland (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Claire Emslie celebrates her goal for Scotland (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

The 35-year-old is England’s highest capped player in both the men and women’s game so has plenty of experience at the highest level and explained what could have caused that dip on the pitch.

“I’ve played in World Cups, I know myself, the 60th minute comes and all of a sudden you start to get cramp and you’re tired and mentally you’ve got to stay in it.

“So I get it, yes they did look a bit tired, was it first game nerves? Maybe. But the performance in the second half just wasn’t good enough.

“Three points is what we needed and we got [them] and hopefully today against Argentina they can move on and play in the same way in which they did in the first half.”

Nikita Parris scored England's first goal of the tournament (Photo by Cathrin Mueller - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
Nikita Parris scored England's first goal of the tournament (Photo by Cathrin Mueller - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Former West Ham star Mollie Kmita, however, felt England did enough against a strong and resilient Scottish performance.

“You cannot underestimate that Scotland side,” Kmita added. “You can’t takeaway what Scotland did, aggravated us, they made it hard for us.

“At the end of the day to get a 2-1 result we have to be happy with that against that side. I think the real test is tonight against Argentina and how patient we can stay.”

Ellen White celebrates after putting England 2-0 up (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Ellen White celebrates after putting England 2-0 up (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Williams agreed that patience is key going into the match against Argentina and also suggested a few tactical changes might need to be made to get the result.

“We certainly have to be patient in our play, we’re certainly going to need players that are willing to make runs off the ball and try and stretch play and open up little gaps so that we can get into pockets.

“We’re certainly going to have to play some of our players that play upfront with a little bit better movement, players that play off the shoulder.

“The likes Ellen White or Jodie Taylor, Nikita Parris who like to stretch in behind, they’ll probably be our more beneficial players and then players in the midfield that can thread and carry balls through.”

As the only team to register a win in their opening Group D game, England currently top the group and could have one foot in the next round with victory over Argentina.

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