Sarina Wiegman wishes England well ahead of Qatar World Cup

Sarina Wiegman wished the England men’s team all the best as they prepare to head to Qatar for the World Cup.

Gareth Southgate’s side play their first match on November 21 against Iran, before further group games against the United States and Wales as they look to build on a memorable showing from four years ago when they reached the semi-finals.

The Three Lions also reached the final of Euro 2020 last year, losing on penalties to Italy, and despite a poor run of results heading into this winter’s World Cup they are still among the tournament favourites.

England World Cup 2022 Squad Announcement – St George’s Park
England manager Gareth Southgate will be looking for another good World Cup run (Nick Potts/PA)

Wiegman knows what it takes to go all the way in a global competition, having guided the Lionesses to victory at Euro 2022 and also previously tasting success with the Netherlands, and she has been in touch with her England counterpart.

“We have spoken a little bit – not very recently, but we have. I would just like to wish them very good luck,” she told Sky Sports.

The curtain fell on the Premier League on Sunday ahead of the winter break, leaving many players with little time to prepare ahead of the World Cup, but Wiegman hopes those going to Qatar will enjoy the experience.

England v Germany – UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 – Final – Wembley Stadium
Sarina Wiegman led England to Euro 2022 glory this summer (Danny Lawson/PA)

“It is pretty hard, having players just playing this weekend now going out with such a small time to prepare but, still, they are very good players,” she said.

“I just hope they do really well and they are able to enjoy it too and get through to lots of stages.”

Wiegman’s Lionesses take on Norway on Tuesday in their final international match of 2022 at the Pinatar Arena Football Centre in Spain.

Last time the sides met in the Euros over the summer, England ran out 8-0 winners to secure qualification from their group, but Wiegman is bracing her players for a different challenge this time.

“We expected a different Norway when we played them (in July), I think we played really well and they didn’t have a good day,” the Dutch manager said.

“So then it can go to 8-0. I think now they have changed.

England v Norway – UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 – Group A – Brighton & Hove Community Stadium
England thrashed Norway 8-0 this summer (Gareth Fuller/PA)

“They have changed coaches and they have changed their style of play, they’re a little bit more defensive – or they put a little bit more emphasis on the defence.

“So we expect a very different game. That game (in the Euros) was really nice because it made us qualify for the next round and that was a good moment.

“This is a totally different situation. They have some other players, they have another coach, they have a little different style of play, another shape we expect,  so it’s going to be different.”