Mark Sampson believes England can blossom into the best team in the world

Thursday 20 Jul 2017
Mark Sampson led England to their biggest-ever finals win

After watching his side open their Euro 2017 campaign with a 6-0 victory over Scotland, Mark Sampson said he truly believes the Lionesses can become the best team in the world.

Jodie Taylor hit a hat-trick as England racked up their biggest-ever win at a finals tournament, with Ellen White, Jordan Nobbs and substitute Toni Duggan also getting on the scoresheet.

The emphatic result puts them in control of Group D ahead of Sunday’s match against Spain, who defeated Portugal 2-0 on Wednesday.

England 6-0 Scotland
  • UEFA Women's Euro 2017
  • Group D
  • Wednesday 19 July
  • Stadion Galgenwaard, Utrecht
Sampson said: “We’re not the finished product yet. We’re still fighting to be the best we can be.

“But every good performance we put in just excites me more. The coaching staff are excited to watch this team play.

“We see the quality in training, we see the intensity, and I’ve seen them raise the level over the last 12 months.

“These players enjoy the pressure. They thrive under it. They are really starting to believe in their talent now.

“The exciting part for me is watching how good we can become over, hopefully, the next five matches.

“We know we’ve got some world-class players and we fundamentally believe that we can become the best team in the world. I’m confident we’ll get there.”

Taylor opened the scoring after just 10 minutes and doubled the lead a quarter of an hour later.

White made it 3-0 with a seventh goal in her last nine matches before Arsenal striker Taylor sealed her treble.

Nobbs and Duggan added a goal apiece late on as England made the rest of Europe sit up and take note.

Sampson said: “I thought the team were outstanding. Overall, we were very efficient and we looked strong from back to front.

“There was a really good balance to our play.

“Respect to Scotland as well. They made it very difficult for us in the first half an hour.

“They’ve still got huge potential to qualify from this group. It wouldn’t surprise me if they won their next two matches.

“We’re pleased with the result so now we’ll go away and focus on Sunday.”

Jodie lobs Gemma Fay for her hat-trick

And the head coach reserved a word of praise for the hat-trick hero.

He added: “Everyone is aware that she is a world-class player. It’s as simple as that. I’ve not seen anyone better in the women’s game at anticipating passes in behind.

“That’s quite a difficult trait to defend, when you’ve got someone playing on your shoulder.

“It was a great start for Jodie and she should take huge credit for her performance.”

By Glenn Lavery in Utrecht, Netherlands