Published 03 September 2022 4 min read
England Women's Senior Team

'We just keep pushing'

Written by:

Frank Smith

England forward Nikita Parris and head coach Sarina Wiegman discuss England Women's 2-0 win over Austria which booked qualification for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup 

Nikita Parris and Sarina Wiegman both stressed the importance of England continuing their momentum and producing impressive performances as they build towards next summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.

England Women booked their place in Australia and New Zealand next summer with a 2-0 victory over Austria on Saturday evening, which came courtesy of goals from Alessia Russo and Parris.

In the Lionesses’ first game since winning this summer’s home EUROs, Wiegman’s side made it nine wins from nine in World Cup qualifying, with 70 goals scored and none conceded.

But Parris used her post-match interview to stress the players are desperate to ensure complacency does not set in.

Parris, who this summer signed for Manchester United, said: "We’ve had great games, great performances and now we’ve got to take that forward.

“We’ve got some friendlies coming up, obviously the Arnold Clark Cup as well, and we’ve got to have that momentum going into the World Cup next year, not forgetting Luxembourg on Tuesday in front of a home crowd." 

Nikita Parris played well after coming on as a substitute
Nikita Parris played well after coming on as a substitute

She continued: "You can’t exactly say what’s going to happen in ten months’ time. You’ve got to have momentum and you’ve got to keep performing right. 

“There’s going to be ups and downs before we get to the World Cup but the main thing is that we perform when we’re there."

Parris came on as a second-half substitute and impressed, both before and after grabbing her first England goal for almost a year.

"It was not a bad finish. It’s about time I scored to be honest!” Parris said.

“That’s what I want to be doing; scoring goals, creating goals and hopefully I can do that going forward." 

England fans celebrating in Austria
England fans celebrating in Austria

As for Wiegman, her unbeaten start to life as England’s head coach this evening extended to 19 wins in 21 matches, if you include the EUROs game she missed due to Covid.

With no goals conceded and 70 scored, World Cup qualification could not have gone much better for the Lionesses and Wiegman said: "I’m very proud of this team. We’ve done so well from September last year until now and we keep on doing well. 

“It was a hard game. It’s a hard moment too. You’re at the EUROs, hardly any holidays or time to get settled, and then you have to perform again against a tough opponent. 

“We had some hard bumps in the game but I think we were the better team and really the ones who should win. It’s one more goal than we did in the other two games [against Austria] and we didn’t concede any." 

Wiegman continued: “There’s so much eagerness in this team, so much willingness to continue where we finished in the summer. It’s hard and they tell us sometimes it’s hard but we also know what we want so we just keep pushing."

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