Steph Houghton proud with England captaincy call

Saturday 18 Jan 2014
Steph Houghton speaks about her pride at captaining England for the first time.

Steph Houghton said England’s Women can be happy with their performance in the 1-1 draw with Euro 2013 runners-up Norway in La Manga.

The versatile Manchester City star was named captain for Mark Sampson’s first game as the new Head Coach.

Eniola Aluko gave England the lead on ten minutes with a deflected shot from inside the box but Melissa Bjaneso equalised on 87, heading home from a right-sided corner.


England 1-1 Norway

Women's International Match
2pm, Friday 17 January
La Manga, Spain



However, Houghton was left satisfied with the team's display.

She said: “Considering it was our first game of the season under new management, I think we did well.

“The girls are disappointed to concede so late but overall in our performance I think we did enough to win the game.

“To concede a goal in the last five minutes after being in control for most of the game is hard to take. But it’s something we can learn from.”

With Sampson not set to name his permanent captain until after the Cyprus Cup in March, he has identified a few candidates for the role, of which Houghton is one.

And she spoke with great pride at donning the Three Lions armband for the first time.

She explained: “I was really surprised, but really honoured and humbled to lead the team out.

“It’s something that you dream of as a kid and it has come true today, but the most important thing was that the team played well.”

Watch highlights of the game with Norway.


The 25-year-old revealed her team-mates have embraced Sampson’s ideas during his first week in situ and has already identified areas where she believes they can improve.

Houghton added: “We want to play a pressing game and press from the front. All the girls put that into place and we managed to do that for 90 minutes.

“There are times when we’ve got to learn how to hold and keep our shape but overall the girls are taking his ideas on board and trying to put them into practise.”

She continued: “Everything’s been great.

“Everyone’s worked hard on the training ground, everyone has taken his ideas on board and now it’s all about progressing and learning as we go.”

By Glenn Lavery La Manga, Spain