Sarina Wiegman on Brazil and Australia, recalls for England trio and updates on Kirby and Mead
Hear from England Women head coach Sarina Wiegman and watch the press conference in full
Sarina Wiegman spoke to the media on Tuesday afternoon following the announcement of her 25-player England Women squad for the forthcoming matches against Brazil and Australia.
The head coach was asked about not only the first-ever Women’s Finalissima against Brazil and another top-ten clash with Australia but also about the three players who have returned to the squad and some of the players who missed out.
There were also updates on two of the Lionesses’ star performers from last summer’s UEFA Women’s EURO victory, Fran Kirby and Beth Mead.
You can read Wiegman’s answers to some of the questions below and can watch the press conference in full via our Twitter channel at the bottom of the article.
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Facing Brazil and Australia in a World Cup year
“I am very happy with these two games against teams from the top ten of the rankings.
“Brazil are very good and Australia will provide a different style of play so I’m very happy with these two games and they are very necessary for us so that after the April camp, we can have another look and say ‘where are we now and what do we need to do before the World Cup?’”
She continued: “You want to play your own style of play but you need to be able to adapt and have the answers. They will challenge us and we need to find answers in the game.
“The more games you have played against different opponents then the more experience you have against different styles of play and tactics, which prepares you really well.”
“It was very difficult to select the squad because the depth of this squad is really good. I had to make some very hard decisions and some players came back to play some minutes after injuries, so it was not easy.”
Chance of players who have missed out this time around making the World Cup squad
“This is the last moment we have [to play before the squad is selected for the World Cup] but after this camp until the end of the season, there is a lot of football to play so you don’t know how it will go.
“But the competition is really high, and I want to see the players we have in now. Lucy Parker, for example, was in the squad in October but had to leave unfortunately so I want to see her in our environment.
“So we wouldn’t expect much change but you do not know what is going to happen because time goes fast but there is a long way to go.”
Lucy Parker’s inclusion
“It starts with the quality of performance and you also want some experience too. I want to see her in our environment.
“We see things in her that we really like. So the defensive aggressiveness, the speed, agility and things like that. There is more than that to football but we really like that [about her] and we want to see that in our environment.”
Return of Hannah Hampton
“I said in the other camps that she needed to sort out some personal issues and she has done that. She has shown great performances and consistency with her club, so I thought now was the moment to bring her in.”
The chance of Millie Bright playing in these games following her injury
“I hope so. She is being assessed by her club. They have the Champions League and then Aston Villa on Sunday so hopefully everything goes well and she will be able to have good games and progress so she can come in.”
Conversations with players who missed out on selection this time
“Of course, I talked to them. They were pretty short and clear discussions because it is not a nice thing to hear that you are not in the squad at this moment. Throughout the year we speak to the players and give them feedback.
“We will be in contact with them when necessary.”
— Lionesses (@Lionesses) March 28, 2023Concerns around Fran Kirby’s fitness ahead of the World Cup
“Of course, I am concerned because she has been out for a while now and it doesn’t look like she will be back in a really short time.
“But I want to keep the opportunity open and hopefully she gets fit, is playing again and then it is about showing your performances and fitness. That is what we need and we have a little less time than before the EUROs because we were here in England for a long period of time and we don’t have that this time now.
“So we are a little bit concerned but also we won’t think too much forward and will see how she progresses.”
Beth Mead’s chances of making the World Cup squad
“I had conversations [with her] and she is doing well and she is doing well in her rehab but the World Cup is actually too early. So she is not in our plans now so we want her to take the time to get back well and then if a miracle happens and she comes back so fast then we will reconsider it but at this moment I do not expect that.”
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