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England Women glowing with confidence after Scotland win as Lionesses turn their attention to Spain

England's players were in high spirits after their emphatic 6-0 victory against the Scots

Glenn Moore
Utrecht
Friday 21 July 2017 00:44 BST
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England fired six goals past Scotland to get their Euros off to the perfect start
England fired six goals past Scotland to get their Euros off to the perfect start (Getty)

After the torrent of English goals there was a deluge of a different sort yesterday, but Mark Sampson’s team were too busy basking in the sun of their golden start to Euro 2017 to notice.

As the tournament progresses they will meet far stronger opposition than under-strength, over-matched, Scotland, thrashed 6-0 in the Galgenwaard Stadion on Wednesday night. It was nevertheless an impressive opening gambit, the more so as co-favourites Germany and France both failed to impress in their first fixtures.

“Six goals is a bit of a statement to the rest of the teams,” said Ellen White, one of the scorers. The Birmingham City striker added: “The result speaks for itself. We’ve shown that we can score, we’re clinical and we put in a big performance. To get six goals and a clean sheet, we’re excited by that. We’ve got a lot of confidence and momentum and we look forward to facing Spain now.”

Sunday’s match against the Spanish, who lost at home to England in the autumn, but beat them at Euro 2013, is likely to decide who wins the group, and theoretically earn an easier route to the final.

Karen Carney, who came on as a substitute on Wednesday, but is likely to start against the more technical Spanish, said: “In 2013, we were in a very different place. We are fitter, faster and stronger, the girls are full-time in a club in our domestic league. The game has moved on. We are a different team with a different mentality. We are probably technically better too.

“We played Spain a few months ago, we know what they are about. They like to play their tiki-taka football, but we have been watching them for a long time. We will come up with a game plan and have to execute it as we did against Scotland. We’ve got the players to play multiple ways. We’ll push Spain.

Karen Carney is brought down by Joanna Love during Wednesday's game (Getty)

“We were very clinical against Scotland,” added the Chelsea midfielder “That’s what we are about now. We want to come home from Holland with the gold medal. We’re going to pay the opposition respect, but if we play to the best of our ability, we believe we can win.”

If this sounds, well, un-English, it is the result of the positivity Sampson has drilled into the team, especially since winning World Cup bronze in 2015. Carney, who is playing in her eighth major tournament, said: “There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance but why shouldn’t we be confident? We’ve got some excellent players. I think there is a bit of an aura about this England team.”

Mark Sampson has drilled new-found positivity into his side (Getty)

One team’s joy is another’s despair and Scotland had more bad news when it was confirmed Jane Ross had injured shoulder ligaments in a challenge by Manchester City team-mate Steph Houghton.

Ross will miss the match against Portugal and may not play again in the tournament. “We will rise again,” said coach Anna Signeul, “it is what Scotland do.” Backing their players is what coaches have to do, but the cloud over the Scots yesterday was metaphorical as well as meteorological.

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