Sampson says his England Women will keep getting better

Saturday 14 Jun 2014
Mark Sampson's England are just four points away from Canada 2015

Mark Sampson believes his England Women’s side will continue to improve, following their 3-0 World Cup qualifying win in Belarus.

Eniola Aluko opened the scoring with her eighth goal of the campaign, before captain Steph Houghton doubled the lead in the 36th minute and Lucy Bronze rounded off a deserved victory with her first international goal in added time.

The result leaves England, who boast a 100 per cent record in Group 6, needing just four points from their remaining three games to qualify for the 2015 World Cup in Canada.

Belarus 0-3 England

FIFA Women's World Cup 2015
Group 6 qualifier
Saturday 14 June 2014
Traktor Stadium, Minsk

Head coach Sampson said: “These are difficult environments to come to; not many people in the ground, big open facility and it’s difficult to get some rhythm in your game - but it was a good team performance.

“Lots of aspects of our game are starting to develop and grow and the players are starting to understand what we are asking of them.

“A lot of the concepts we are talking about are starting to come to fruition so there are lots of positives to take from the game.

“The objective was to get three points and, if we could, keep a clean sheet. I thought defensively, in and out of possession we were very solid.

“We created lots of chances which is always a positive. We’d like to be more clinical obviously, and I think that will come, but in terms of our play between the boxes I was delighted.”

Highlights: Belarus 0-3 England

For the second game in succession, Sampson employed a 4-4-2 diamond formation and he was left satisfied with how his players adjusted to the switch from the 4-3-3 set-up they used in the previous five qualifiers.

He added: “I thought we showed a very good tactical understanding.

“Even with the ball we were defending well against the counter-attack. When we lost the ball we were in a position to win it back quickly. Those type of things are important for us moving forward.

“We have to be a little bit sharper in the final third but those aspects will come.”

Sampson continued: “It’s now important that we refresh, we regroup, review today and we can go into the game on Thursday feeling very confident about the way we played.”

By Glenn Lavery in Minsk