Women’s Euro 2022: Lucy Bronze warns Spain that ‘England are here and we are here to compete’

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Women’s Euro 2022: Lucy Bronze warns Spain that ‘England are here and we are here to compete’
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Lucy Bronze has thrown down the gauntlet ahead of tonight’s Euro 2022 quarter-final against Spain by declaring England are ready for their rivals wanting to knock them off their perch.

England cruised through the group stages, winning all three of their games and scoring 14 unanswered goals, and they are now the favourites to win the tournament.

The Lionesses, who are waiting to see if their head coach Sarina Wiegman would test negative for Covid-19 so she could be on the touchline tonight at the Amex, are comfortable in their role as favourites and the fact they have a target on their backs now.

And Bronze believes fellow contenders to win the Euros, such as tonight’s opponents Spain, now fear England after they sent out a message of intent during the group stages.

“I think it (the group stages) shows what we are capable of. It shows that we are full of confidence,” said Bronze.

“I think for other teams it is kind of twofold - are teams going to potentially be a little bit scared or is it potentially that teams want to knock us off that perch that we have got ourselves on. But I think we are prepared for either of them.

“We are not really focused too much on what they think of us, it’s about building our confidence, keeping the momentum, keeping the kind of flow of what we’ve got going.

“But yeah, we do know that there has obviously been a message sent out to the rest of the teams that England are here and we are here to compete and get to the very end of the tournament.”

England have had to cope with a number of issues in the build-up to tonight’s game. They have trained earlier due to the record temperatures in London over the past two days, while players have used ice jackets to cool down after sessions.

The squad have also had to cope without Wiegman, who tested positive for Covid-19 last week and missed the final group game, a 5-0 win over Northern Ireland, on Friday.

The 52-year-old has been in remote contact with the squad and watched training from afar, wearing a face mask, and she insists it has not caused too much disruption.

“It’s not the worst nightmare, just a situation we have to deal with,” said Wiegman yesterday, while conducting her media duties via Zoom. “I’m around and still doing my job. I’m just doing things virtually or outside from a big distance with the mask.

“I’ve been involved in all of the training, I just make sure I don’t get close to people. But you can always observe real closely and sometimes give a message.

“We had a line so I was in contact with the technical staff all the time during [Friday’s] game, watching it of course from here (at the team’s south-west London base).”

After their fine group stages England go into the match as favourites, but captain Leah Williamson insists they are not underestimating Spain.

“Obviously its knockout football, the game changes once you get through the group, the nature of the game is different,” she said.

“We’re in good form, and hopefully we can do what we have been doing in this tournament tonight.”

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