Mark Sampson sets target for Mexico encounter

Friday 12 Jun 2015
Mark Sampson talks to the press

England Women’s boss Mark Sampson has called Saturday’s World Cup encounter against Mexico a “must-not-lose” game.

The Lionesses slipped to defeat in their opening-day match against France which, coupled with Mexico’s 1-1 draw with Colombia, has left Sampson’s charges bottom of Group F.

A win over the North Americans, ranked 25th in the world, would put England right back in the frame for a place in the last 16.

England v Mexico

FIFA Women's World Cup 2015
9pm BST, Saturday 13 June
Moncton Stadium, New Brunswick, Canada
Live BBC Three

But Sampson believes his side do not necessarily have to pick up all three points.

He said: “We can't afford to lose this game.

“I'm not sure it's a must-win game, but it's definitely a must-not-lose game.

“But we're really confident that if we bring our maximum, foot-to-the-floor football, fifth-gear football, this England team and this England performance will be good enough to get us on the board and put us in a good place in the group.

"There's still two games to go. We are playing teams which we feel if we're at our best we'll win matches, so we're confident we can go into it, pick up a win and that will put us in a great place.”

After the France loss, Sampson said he was confident England would grow into the tournament.

He set his side up to contain the French but were beaten by Eugenie Le Sommer’s 29th-minute strike.

Even though he is looking ahead to the final two group matches, the 32-year-old said he cannot completely forget about Tuesday’s result.

Sampson added: “The objective is to get through the group, and that will give us a great opportunity then to build momentum through the tournament.

“We always have to take the previous game into consideration, that's only fair on the players.

“The real England for us is our ability to show different sides, to make sure we're not a one-trick pony.

“Certainly on Saturday we will see a different England at certain points during the game.”

The final group match is against Colombia on 17 June.

By Glenn Lavery in Moncton, New Brunswick