Gemma Bonner believes England can still progress at U20s World Cup.
Gemma Bonner has already been involved in one major tournament this summer, the UEFA Women’s U19s European Championship.
The Leeds Carnegie defender played in all but one of England’s games as they reached the Final in Macedonia and her fine performances were rewarded with a place in Mo Marley’s U20 World Cup squad that currently face a crucial final group game against Japan today.
With just one point from their first two games, The Three Lions must now beat their Asian opposition and hope for a positive result in the other Group C game between Mexico and Nigeria if they are to progress into the knockout stages.
Bonner, however, believes the high pressure situation has not affected the team’s focus.
“[The mood’s] good, we’re staying positive and we know what we need to do,” the 19-year-old told TheFA.com. “We’re just focusing on ourselves. We know what we’ve got to do and we just have to make sure that we do it.
“We go out to win every game and we don’t expect to lose any, so this game is no different. We know we’ve got to win.”
That positive attitude will need to run throughout the squad if the Three Lions are to overcome a Japan side that have shown a significant threat despite only picking up one point at the tournament so far.
“We watch videos and research each team before we play them and this game’s no different, so I’m sure we’ll view them and work out where we can win the game and what we need to do,” said Bonner. “So it will just be the same procedure we go through before every other game.
“We’ve put in good performances, it’s just that cutting edge that we’ve lacked, just the finishing touch, because we’ve pretty much had all the possession in the [previous] games but just not had the finishing touch which is obviously what you need.”
Although Gemma is yet to get any game time in Germany, she is confident in the side’s ability and coach Marley’s comprehensive approach to preparation. But with her recent experience of tournament football, Bonner will certainly be ready for action if called upon.
“Everyone wants to play but you leave team selection down to the manager, and we all trust in the manager that she’ll make the right decisions.
“It’s really helped playing in a major European Championship before coming to the World Cup, as it builds up your confidence, you get game time and experience, and get to know the tournaments as well as your team-mates.
“Every tournament is prestigious with England but obviously with the World Cup you’re on the world stage. We’re training every day with the best players in England and getting the best coaching makes you a better player.
“Everyone is enjoying [the experience]. We’re all staying positive and we’re looking to stay in the competition and go further – and hopefully win it.” England's crucial game against Japan will be live on British Eurosport and online at FIFA.com - click here.