Sarina Wiegman believes England Women will “need more ruthlessness” in preparation for Euro 2022, as they examine the lessons learned from the Lionesses’ first warm-up game.
Amber Tysiak and Nicky Evrard scored for Belgium, sandwiching a spectacular Rachel Daly strike, as the Lionesses won 3-0 in their first pre-Euro 2022 friendly.
To employ a football cliche, it was a game of two halves at Molineux, with plenty of chances but no goals in the first half and fewer chances but three goals after the interval.
However, Wiegman – who won the last European Championships with the Netherlands – wants more goals from her side after a frustrating first half.
“We have a plan when we play. Of course we want to score the chances, but as long as you don’t concede you have time. We dominate the game and then you have to have patience. There comes a moment when we do score that one; yes, we want to do it earlier but in the final third we have to be a little more ruthless.
She said: “The first half, we played well, we created but didn’t score. We needed some more depth in the game, runs in behind. We did that a little better in the second half. When you win 3-0 it’s enough, but when we go into the Euros we need a little more ruthlessness.
“The competition in this team is very high. We have opportunities for many players. Now we are also looking for connections. Different qualities in different positions. We’re getting a little closer, but we are not all set. Two matches to go. Things can change really quick too, that’s what we know in this sport.
“We have a squad of 23 and you can play every single player. I hope I don’t get a headache, but they are giving me problems [in selection].”
Wiegman started the game with a midfield trio of Leah Williamson, Keira Walsh and Georgia Stanway, with the head coach saying of the line-up: “We have to get used to each other a little bit. So, we’ve tried this before but not very much. “It’s a little different, you could tell sometimes we have to get used to this. Change to the situations and the shape. We need a little more time for this.”
Fran Kirby also made her return to the pitch for the first time since February after struggles with illness and injury, having been selected in the 23-player squad on Wednesday. Wiegman added of the forward: On Kirby: “We’re really happy she is with us. She’s going well. She was training with Chelsea at the end of the season. We take it day by day now. We make a plan and we see how she recovers.
“So far it has gone well. She’s really happy and we’re really happy. We don’t say ‘you have to be here at this stage’. We just have a plan in place and adjust where needed.”
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