Lucy: ‘England squad have huge belief at Women’s World Cup’
Lucy Bronze says England’s ability to win the Women’s World Cup has only strengthened their faith.
In the last 16, the Lionesses defeated Nigeria on penalties and have had to cope with key players being injured.
The tests Sarina Wiegman’s players have overcome have given them confidence, according to Bronze.
Our team is the only one that is still in the competition, said Bronze.
There are many top teams who are going home because they haven’t won or been able to see out the games – and we have.”.
There is a side to our team that has shown. It’s the mentality we have that makes us successful.
“There is a great deal of belief.”
After back-to-back champions the USA, Euro 2022 finalists Germany, Olympic gold medallists Canada and South American champions Brazil were all knocked out, England are favourites to win the Women’s World Cup for the first time. They face Colombia in the quarterfinals on Saturday at 11:30 BST.
In the win against Denmark, midfielder Keira Walsh suffered an injury, while forward Lauren James was sent off in the victory against Nigeria.
For more than half an hour, Wiegman’s side was without a player, but they managed to hold on to 0-0 through extra time.
“We’re quite a confident team anyway,” said Bronze.
We knew our strengths and proved them to the world in extra time and during penalties.
The important thing is we got through to the next round. We’re a fantastic team with highly talented players.
Playing our best games in the first games is pointless. We might as well save them for the quarter-finals.
Every game has taught us something – whether it was the physical Haiti game, the Denmark game when we lost our key player [Walsh], the China game where we changed formation, or the red card against Nigeria.
We have dealt with everything that has been thrown at us, and I don’t see many other teams that have.
“If they have, I don’t think they’ve overcome it as well as we have.”
Walsh’s knee injury was not as bad as first thought, and she played 120 minutes against Nigeria.
A subsequent scan confirmed the midfielder had not suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
Obviously a lot of high profile players have them [ACLs], so it’s in the media a lot,” Walsh said. “When I went down, I wasn’t too worried about my ACL. Everyone in the media thought it was; it was a different pain.”
I was back on the pitch after 10 days after my injury, which is unusual in these tournaments. England’s medical team is excellent, so I didn’t miss a game.”
James, who has three goals for England at the Women’s World Cup so far, apologised after her dismissal and said she would learn from it.