England's Alex Greenwood brushes off pressure talk

Wednesday 16 Sep 2015
Alex Greenwood (No14) with Karen Bardsley at the World Cup

Alex Greenwood says England Women are ready to deal with the pressure that comes with being World Cup bronze medallists.

Mark Sampson’s squad defeated European champions Germany in the third-place play-off at Canada 2015.

It was their best-ever finish at the tournament – and the best World Cup achievement by any England team since 1966.

Estonia v England

UEFA Women's Euro 2017
Group 7
5pm BST, Monday 21 September
A. Le Coq Arena, Tallinn

And Notts County defender Greenwood believes the Lionesses will embrace the challenge of being a team everyone wants to beat.

She said: “Teams will raise their game against us and we have to be prepared for that. On paper we are the best team in Europe so other nations will want to beat us now.

"But those other teams know that we are a very strong group with a lot of good players.

“And no-one will know what to expect from us because we showed how flexible we were in Canada. 

“I don’t feel that there is any pressure within this squad. I think it’s more excitement because we know we are a good side and we are excited about where we can go.”

England will be back in action on Monday when they begin their Euro 2017 qualifying campaign against Estonia in Tallinn.

Managed by former Charlton Athletic boss Keith Boanas, Estonia are the lowest-ranked team in Group 7.

Alex Greenwood in World Cup action against Mexico

Greenwood in World Cup action against Mexico

England will be red-hot favourites to pick up an opening-day win – but Greenwood has warned her team-mates against complacency.

She said: “We are all professional players and we know there is a job to be done.

“Estonia might be the easiest team in our group in terms of their FIFA ranking, but you can’t take that for granted. Sometimes that can backfire on you.

“We will be professional about things, we will go to Estonia and look to get the job done.”

At 21, Greenwood was the youngest member of England’s World Cup squad.

And even though Sampson has called up a number of other young players for the Estonia game, Greenwood remains the youngest Lioness in his ranks.

She said: “It’s really exciting times for this team. Looking around at training and the players that are here, there are some very good young players here, and many more coming through.

“So going forward, if we build on what we have achieved already I think we could be a really exciting team in the Euros.”

Greenwood added: “We need to get the Euro qualifiers off to a positive start and then we’ve got a big game in Germany which will be a chance for us to show that the result in Canada wasn’t just a one-off.”

England's next home game is not until 29 November, v Bosnia-Herzegovina at Bristol City FC, but tickets are available to buy online now priced at just £5 and £2.50. Click here for details...

By Glenn Lavery at St. George's Park