Carney warns rampant England against complacency

Monday 06 Jun 2016
Karen Carney has scored 29 goals in 116 England appearances
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Hat-trick hero Karen Carney has asked her England team-mates to re-focus for their second match against Serbia in three days.

The 28-year-old’s treble helped the Lionesses canter to a 7-0 win at Adams Park on Saturday.

Mark Sampson’s squad are now in Belgrade preparing for the reverse fixture, and what will be their sixth Euro 2017 Qualifier.

Serbia v England

UEFA Women's Euro 2017
Group 7 qualifier
4pm BST, Tuesday 7 June 2016
Serbia FA Sports Centre, Stara Pazova

But, mindful of the last time they played in Serbia when they let a two-goal lead slip in 2011, Carney said England cannot simply expect another straightforward victory on Tuesday.

She explained: "We played Serbia a few years ago, went 2-0 up and they came back and drew 2-2 so we know we can’t take anything for granted.

"They’ve got some talented players and I think they played around us at times on Saturday.

"No two games are ever the same. It’s going to be difficult but as long as we’re not complacent, as long as we press the same, go at them and try and get the early goal again I think we should be okay.

"But it’s going to be tough. It will be a different game, for sure."

The Chelsea forward has made a real impact since coming back into the squad.

Having sat out the first five England matches after the World Cup to help heal a troublesome back complaint, Carney returned to the fold for the 1-0 defeat by USA in the SheBelieves Cup in March.

She made another three substitute appearances before earning a place in the first eleven for the 1-0 win in Bosnia in April, when she scored an 86th-minute winner.

And her hat-trick against Serbia means she has bagged four goals in her last two matches.

Carney said: "I had some time off after the World Cup, probably four or five months out of the squad through injury.

"I just thought I’d come back and enjoy myself and that’s what I’ve done.

"It took me a little while to get back into the starting team and Serbia was my first start on home soil for a while.

"My family and friends were at the game at the weekend so it’s just nice to play for my country again."

By Glenn Lavery in Belgrade, Serbia