England midfielder Jill Scott says the Lionesses can't wait to get under way
With less than 48 hours to go until their Euro 2013 campaign begins, Jill Scott says England are heading into the tournament brimming with confidence.
The Everton midfielder reckons the fine form shown by Hope Powell’s side in recent months means the Lionesses can compete with the very best of the other nations taking part in Sweden.
She said: “We feel really confident. We’ve been winning a lot of games – we’ve had the Cyprus Cup in February where we had some really tough matches, like Canada in the final.
“They’re one of the best teams around and we beat them 1-0. We played them again in a friendly recently and won again, so I think it’s showing that the squad do really want to win matches and we’re starting to show that now; that’s only good going into these European Championships."
Before the 4-1 warm-up defeat against Sweden last week, England had not lost a game in 16 months. That run included eight wins in their previous 11 games and a draw against world champions Japan.
And Scott insists the group has the ideal blend of youth, experience and depth – which could prove pivotal in tournament conditions.
She added: “It’s always good to have a mix of young and more experienced players.
“The younger players bring that ‘no fear’ attitude – they’re raring to go and they bring a lot of energy, maybe that us older players don’t have.
“I just feel a lot of excitement around this squad at the moment and hopefully we can go out there and do the best we can.”
As well as starring for England at the World Cup in 2011, Scott also played a pivotal role at the Lionesses’ last Euro campaign.
She notched the semi-final winner against the Holland in Germany in 2009, dedicating the goal to her then one-year-old nephew Charlie by blowing kisses at the TV cameras.
Scott, 26, recalled: “It’s a fantastic memory for me. I didn’t get to start the game but I came on with on with injury time to go.
"I remember the ball coming in – I think it hit my nose to be honest – but I didn’t care at the time because it was the last couple of minutes and obviously it meant we reached the final.
“Obviously the final brought a bit of heartache getting beaten 6-2 by Germany, but hopefully this time we can go one further.
“It was a very difficult game, Germany were and are a very strong team. We know that. But I think we’re a lot stronger this time around."
England have now arrived in Linköping, where all three of their group games will take place.
First up is a game against Spain on Friday, followed by Russia and France on 15 and 18 July respectively.