Sarina Wiegma wants England Women to stay grounded after win over Netherlands

Sarina Wiegman vowed the England women’s team would “stand strong” after beating defending champions the Netherlands 5-1 in their penultimate warm-up match before next month’s European Championship.

The Lionesses came from behind to claim the eye-catching win at Elland Road, their 11th win in 13 matches unbeaten under Wiegman.

The Dutchwoman, who guided the Netherlands to Euro 2017 glory and the 2019 World Cup final before becoming England coach last September, said when asked if her team was being talked about as favorites to lift the trophy this summer: “I think there are many favourites”. for this tournament and we are one of them.

“But we know where we want to go and we stick to our strategy and plans, and whether we lose or win now, we’re not going to suddenly sit, we call it, on a pink cloud. We stay grounded.

“Even if we had lost today, we know what we can improve, what we do well and we want to take the next step in our style of play.

“Of course, the expectation will increase, but now is a time. I think we are in a good place, but we still need to improve a couple of things, and we know that.”

After Lieke Martens’ first goal was canceled out by Lucy Bronze in the first half, England were given a break seven minutes into the second half when Sherida Spitse, making her 200th appearance for the Netherlands, scored a penalty off the post.

A minute later, Beth Mead put the hosts ahead with a close-range finisher, fellow substitutes Ella Toone and Lauren Hemp added efforts in the 72nd and 74th minutes, with Mead subsequently scoring her second late to wrap things up.

Wiegman said: “I thought it was a very good match. We had a tough time in the first half, I think the Netherlands did very well and we didn’t play to our strengths, we were struggling, and I think we played a very good second half.

“It gives confidence because we know we have a lot of depth in our team, a lot of quality. I have a tough decision to make for the first XI.

“It was a good learning moment for us (in the first half), that we were behind. We haven’t been behind since I came in, so it was good to see the team’s reaction. Even when we were struggling, we were at it and we were able to get the game to the level where we should be able to play.”

Beth Mead (left) celebrates her second goal of the night (Nick Potts/PA)

England play the final of their three warm-up matches against Switzerland in Zurich next week before facing Austria at Old Trafford in the opening match of the European Championship on July 6.

After last week’s 3-0 win over Belgium in Molineux, Wiegman had said “more cruelty” would be required at the summer tournament.

Asked how he felt about the cruelty against the Netherlands, Wiegman said: “Very happy.

“We’ve been talking about us needing to be more ruthless, but I think tonight we scored the goals, we were really into it, and that’s really nice to see.”

Wiegman’s successor as Netherlands manager, England’s Mark Parsons, expressed his opinion that England were the favorites for the European Championship and also said that he had “let down” his team in the second half.

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Mark Parsons felt that he had let his side down (PA)

Parsons said: “When the (final) whistle blew, I knew I was going to be looking at a shorter game, with 60 minutes.

“It wouldn’t make sense to keep looking because I let them down. At that point the organization should have been much safer, more defensive, because the legs were gone and England were getting fresher and fresher with their changes, with the home crowd.

“I think England will be favorites at the European Championship, where they are, the quality of the players, the home crowd, the resources the WSL has been putting in, the work the clubs have been doing. Add all that up and it’s very hard to see that they’re not favourites.”

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