Visit our new website:

Steph Houghton tells England to look for a fast start at Euro 2017

  • Tue, 18 Jul 2017 00:42

Captain Steph Houghton has challenged England to shed their reputation as slow starters to major tournaments when they begin their Women's European Championship campaign against Scotland on Wednesday.

The high-stakes clash in Utrecht sees the Lionesses take on a Scotland side who are hampered by the absence of their world-class playmaker Kim Little, absent from the tournament due to a knee injury.

Anything other than a win would be a setback to England, but they have struggled in opening games over the last decade, both in the Euros and at the World Cup.

They have not won a first group fixture since overcoming Finland 3-2 in front of nearly 30,000 supporters at the Etihad Stadium at Euro 2005, a win which proved a false dawn as England were bundled out in the group stages after subsequent losses to Denmark and Sweden.

An early defeat to France at the 2015 World Cup did not stop England finishing third in the tournament, but getting away to a positive start this time would support Houghton and co's conviction that the team can go all the way in Holland. They play Spain and Portugal later in Group D.

Houghton knows interest in manager Mark Sampson's team will soar if England strike a winning note immediately against Scotland, but the 29-year-old centre-back said: "Ha ha, that's easier said than done.

"What a way to start. For us the important thing is we start on the front foot, and no matter if it was Scotland, Spain or Portugal it would be important for us to get something from that first game.

"That's something we've lacked in previous tournaments, and it's something that we'll be striving for, to start with a winning mentality and find a way to win to make sure we build the confidence and belief going into the next few games.

"But it's a rivalry that everybody loves in England and Scotland. It'll hopefully draw a lot of attention but within the squad it's up to us to concentrate on ourselves."

The tournament was getting under way on Sunday as hosts Holland faced Norway and Denmark played Belgium.

For England all the focus is on tackling a side who will be after a big scalp, well aware of the dicey early results suffered by previous incarnations of the Lionesses.

As well as the France loss two years ago, England were beaten by Spain in their Euro 2013 first game, drew with Mexico at the 2011 World Cup, lost to Italy at Euro 2009 and drew with Japan in the 2007 World Cup.

One big threat to England's chances of grabbing an immediate three points is posed by Houghton's Manchester City team-mate Jane Ross, the spearhead of Scotland's attack.

"Jane's a fantastic player, and I play against her in training every single day with City," Houghton told Press Association Sport.

"I like to think we know how each other works, and it's going to be an interesting battle. We've got to make sure that the way that we play stifles those sort of players, but also allows us to bring in our best attributes to ensure that we win."

Source: PA

Let's block ads! (Why?)

International Football News



Related Stories

Budget 2017: Railcard extended for people aged up to 30
  • Tue, 21 Nov 2017 07:43

The young persons' railcard is being extended to those aged up to 30 after a successful trial. BBC News - Business

Brighton 2-2 Stoke: Seagulls snatch point thanks to Jose Izquierdo
  • Tue, 21 Nov 2017 05:55

Jose Izquierdo snatched a point for Brighton as they twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with Stoke.The Seagulls' club record signing struck after an h...

8 Biggest Jaw-Droppers at the 2017 American Music Awards
  • Tue, 21 Nov 2017 03:56

The American Music Awards are ending 2017 on a high note. After thousands of votes were cast, the world's biggest fan-voted award show hit the Micros...

The Best Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2017 TV and Home Theater Deals
  • Tue, 21 Nov 2017 03:00

We've found great deals on television sets, home theater gear, and more. Feed: All Latest

Disney Salutes the ‘Kinnick Wave’ with the 2017 Disney Sports Spirit Award
  • Tue, 21 Nov 2017 02:54

Raising your hand and waving at someone seems like such a simple gesture but it is having an immense impact on a group of young people in need in Iowa...

Arsenal transfer news: Gunners eye move for Turkish sensation Yusuf Yazici
  • Tue, 21 Nov 2017 02:46

The 20-year-old is currently grabbing the headlines Monday, November 20, 2017Arsenal are willing to splash £14million on Trabzonspor sensation Yusuf ...

From Space, 2017's Devastating Hurricanes Look Hypnotic
  • Tue, 21 Nov 2017 02:04

National Geographic News

The Maserati on fire along the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway on Nov 20, 2017. Photo: SG Road
  • Tue, 21 Nov 2017 01:30

SINGAPORE: A Maserati on fire along the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway on Monday caused the Pan-Island Expressway exit to be closed. A photo of the veh...

Kyle Busch: Joey Logano's blocking cost me 2017 NASCAR Cup title
  • Tue, 21 Nov 2017 01:17

Joe Gibbs Racing's Kyle Busch says Joey Logano's repeated blocking ruined his chances of a second NASCAR Cup Series title at the Homestead season fina...

Chris Coleman calls for another Welshman to be handed Wales job
  • Mon, 20 Nov 2017 23:15

Chris Coleman has called for another Welshman to be handed the task of building upon his legacy with the national team. Coleman was unveiled as the ne...

Josh Hazlewood: Australia aim to open up England Ashes ‘scars’
  • Mon, 20 Nov 2017 22:46

The Ashes Mon 20 Nov, AT 15:38 Hazlewood: Australia aim to open up England Ashes ‘scars’ England were hammered 5-0 in ...

Storm man gives England defence starch
  • Mon, 20 Nov 2017 20:46

EDDIE Jones has credited Melbourne Storm defensive coach Jason Ryles with the disruptive tackling sting that helped give his England team bragging rig...

News Categories