Eddie Howe wishes ‘remarkable’ England well in World Cup final

Sarina Wiegman led the Lionesses to Euro 2022 glory last summer.

Pa Sport Staff
Friday 18 August 2023 16:14 BST
England players celebrate with the trophy following victory over Germany in the Euro 2022 final at Wembley (Danny Lawson/PA)
England players celebrate with the trophy following victory over Germany in the Euro 2022 final at Wembley (Danny Lawson/PA) (PA Archive)

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has backed England to complete a “remarkable” double by winning the World Cup.

Sarina Wiegman’s Lionesses face Spain in Sydney on Sunday morning hoping to add the most coveted title of all to their Euro 2022 success, and Magpies head coach Howe is firmly in their corner as they provide fresh inspiration for future generations.

Asked if the success of the England team was good for football in general in this country, he said: “One hundred per cent, I’ve got no doubts about that.

“When you look at the people that I interact with on a daily basis at the training ground or around Newcastle, a lot of those people will be young girls who are Newcastle fans, and that’s great to see.

“A lot of that is down to the success of the women’s team recently, and long may that continue because we want it to be a game for everybody.

“I was at the Euro final and loved that experience. The atmosphere was an amazing thing. I took my boys to the game and they loved it – that’s one of their best memories.

“I certainly hope they can do it. Winning the World Cup off the back of the Euros would be a remarkable achievement for a similar group of players and the manager, so I wish them all the best.”

Wiegman, who led her native Netherlands to Euro 2017 glory and the 2019 World Cup final, has enhanced her reputation since taking up the Football Association’s offer of employment to prompt suggestions she could thrive in the men’s game.

Howe said: “Just look at the job she has done – I think it’s been remarkable. She’s very calm. I actually really enjoy watching her on the sideline. She never gets flustered, always calm.

“I’m always looking at her thinking she’s thinking and analysing what to do next. A lot of the time when I’m watching games, I’m trying to put myself in the manager’s shoes. I think she’s done an incredible job.”

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag revealed his pride for compatriot Wiegman as he offered his backing to her and her team.

Ten Hag said: “It is great, a Dutch manager doing a great job for England, so I am very proud of her and I am a fan of the England women’s team and cross my fingers and hope they return with the World Cup.”

Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou refused to completely throw his weight behind Wiegman’s side after they beat his native Australia on Wednesday, but he did express his delight at the way the tournament has gripped the whole of his country.

“The Ashes are done, mate, they’re back in Australia,” Postecoglou joked in reference to the midweek clash being a decider after a summer of England versus Australia battles in different sports.

The Ashes are done, mate, they're back in Australia

Ange Postecoglou

“It was a great game and talking to people back home, the way the tournament has been embraced is the most important thing for us.

“Obviously I’d much prefer we’d won and got to the final, but, if you know the history of football in Australia, we don’t have many of these moments where the whole country is looking at the game, let alone the national team.

“It’s hard to get the game in the papers or on TV and the exposure has been wall to wall and it’s brilliant, especially in the middle of the others code’s season which is gold for us.

“Hopefully it’s everlasting. As for who I’ll be going for, I live in England now and as long as it’s a great spectacle, a great game, that’s all I say.”

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