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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

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‘England want to make fans proud’

Sarina Wiegman has been in the role since 1 SeptemberNew manager Sarina Wiegman said England want to “make the fans proud” during her first match in charge.

The Lionesses face North Macedonia in a World Cup qualifier on Friday (19:00 BST), before playing Luxembourg on Tuesday, 21 September (19:15 BST).

It is Wiegman’s first match since taking over from interim manager Hege Riise on 1 September.

“Of course the priority is to win. We want to have good wins and score a lot of goals,” Wiegman said.

“We also want to concede none. We want to show how good we can play and make the English crowd proud of us.”

Mead relishing ‘fresh start’ with EnglandWiegman outlines new vision for successEngland, who will play at Southampton’s St Mary’s Stadium in front of fans, lost their last two friendlies against Canada and France in April.

“I’ve seen many things [in training]. An enormous and great work ethic,” Wiegman added.

“I’m very excited to be working with the team but they work so hard that sometimes we have to tell them to slow down a little bit. There’s a lot of quality and they are going for it and wanting to do really well.

“Hopefully we can show that on the pitch.”

Chelsea forward Fran Kirby is a doubt after taking part in reduced training sessions this week to “manager her load” but Wiegman expects to name a strong squad for the game which will be shown live on ITV4 as part of a new broadcast deal.

England to host new tournament in 2022Stokes ‘excited’ by new style of playEngland captain Steph Houghton said the squad are “full of energy” following the arrival of Wiegman.

“This is kind of like starting fresh. It’s a clean slate for everybody,” she added.

“Of course results after the World Cup [in 2019] weren’t up to our standards and not what is expected of an England team and there were performances that were below par, but it’s all about trying to go out and play our football.

“We want to show how good we are. We have some exceptional players – some exceptional young players too – so there’s going to be a lot more energy about us and it’s a chance to impress the new manager.

“Winning two games is the priority above everything else.”

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