England ‘in a very good place’ but Sarina Wiegman wants Euros improvements

·3 min read

Sarina Wiegman said England were “in a very good place” but “still have to improve a couple of things” after they concluded their warm-up matches ahead of the home Euros by beating Switzerland 4-0 in Zurich.

Alessia Russo put the Lionesses in front with a 56th-minute header, before Georgia Stanway’s penalty extended the lead in the 74th minute and substitute Beth England made it three two minutes later. Jill Scott – another substitute – added a fourth goal in stoppage time.

It was another strong second-half showing from Wiegman’s side, who netted three goals after the break when beating Belgium 3-0 at Molineux in their opening warm-up game, then four in the 5-1 victory over the Netherlands at Elland Road last week, with players again making an impact off the bench.

The result also makes it 12 wins in 14 games unbeaten – with 84 goals scored and just three conceded – under the Dutchwoman’s management for England, who kick off their Euros campaign by playing Austria at Old Trafford next Wednesday.

When asked if the team could be in a better position heading into the tournament, Wiegman told ITV: “We always have things to improve.

“I think we are in a very good place, but that will show in the Euros. These are all friendlies, it is very nice to play and learn from it, but it really starts next Wednesday.

“And I think we are in a very good place, but we still have to improve a couple of things.”

The first half saw England fail to make a breakthrough despite creating a number of chances, which included Fran Kirby and Lauren Hemp having efforts saved by goalkeeper Seraina Friedli early on and Rachel Daly’s header being cleared off the line.

Wiegman said: “It was a very good result.

“We scored all the goals in the second half, and I think that showed again that we are a very fit team.

“They got tired, we brought on some substitutes and it also showed again that we don’t play with 11 players – we have so many more players in our squad, and we can make a change in the second half, so play patient.

“We started well. We had three big chances in the beginning of the game, and then it would have been easy to score those goals, but we didn’t. I think the keeper did a very good job too.

“And after, they got some chances, they got dangerous. That can happen, but we have to do a little better.

“I do think we had to speed up the game the first half more – we were pretty slow, the ball tempo was too low. I think the second half we did a little better and they got a little tired.”

Wiegman had brought Russo and Stanway into the starting line-up amid three changes from the match against the Netherlands, the team she guided to Euro 2017 glory on home soil.

The Lionesses’ record scorer Ellen White returned to the matchday squad having missed out last time due to coronavirus and was kept on the bench.

Another player who could be back in action for England next week is Lucy Bronze, after she missed this game having felt unwell.