Sampson says England will find more World Cup rhythm

Tuesday 09 Jun 2015
England Women's head coach Mark Sampson

Mark Sampson is confident his England Women’s team will “find more rhythm” as they grow into the World Cup.

The Lionesses were edged 1-0 by France in their opening match at Canada 2015.

Facing the third best team in the world, the head coach set his team up in a cautious 4-1-4-1 formation.

France 1-0 England

FIFA Women's World Cup 2015
Group F
Tuesday 9 June
Moncton Stadium, New Brunswick, Canada

England restricted France to just four shots on target and Sampson said his charges now have something to build on.

He said: “We will take lots of positives from it.

“The team were outstanding defensively and with the way they managed the game. We limited one of the best teams in this tournament to just a few shots on target. It was a goal on a transition from 20 yards.

“Let’s not take away from the quality of the finish. [Le Sommer] has still got to hit a shot from 20 yards past an excellent goalkeeper.

“There are some areas with the ball that we can tidy up on. But it’s the first game of the tournament and these are areas we can improve on very quickly.”

Sampson is confident England will grow into the tournament

England’s remaining two group matches are against Mexico, on Saturday, and Colombia, on Wednesday 17 June.

They will have to pick up points in either or both of those matches to be in with a chance of progressing to the last 16, and Sampson has hinted at a more adventurous line-up on Saturday.

He added: “Towards the end of the game we saw more intensity, more positive play from England, more forward-minded players on the pitch which gives us a great platform to build on.

“We want to be creative and be a team that attacks and scores goals but we have to respect our opponent. That was a strong England performance. You have to understand the level of competition. We have taken a top team right to the last minute.

“As we grow into the tournament we will find more rhythm.

“We'll be ready for [Mexico]. There’s already an enthusiasm in the dressing room for the next game. We want to get ourselves to the next level.

"Of course we are disappointed with the result. But we’ve got two games coming up to prepare for. I've got some hungry players on the bench who are keen to get involved.”

By Glenn Lavery in Moncton, New Brunswick