England 'really have to improve' despite thrashing Netherlands, warns Wiegman

By Sports Desk June 24, 2022

Sarina Wiegman is "absolutely happy" with England's progress ahead of the Women's Euro 2022, but she did not see a stunning 5-1 defeat of the Netherlands as cause to get carried away.

England have never lost back-to-back matches against the Oranje, yet their previous meeting had been a crushing 3-0 reverse in the Euro 2017 semi-finals.

Wiegman was in the Netherlands dugout on that occasion, guiding her country to a home tournament success.

That is now her aim with the Lionesses, and Friday's victory at Elland Road surely laid down a marker, with Beth Mead scoring twice – either side of goals from Ella Toone and Lauren Hemp – after Lucy Bronze had cancelled out Lieke Martens' opener.

England are yet to lose in their 13 games under Wiegman, scoring 80 times across those matches, but the manager still saw room for improvement.

"Maybe," Wiegman told ITV Sport when asked if she had to temper expectations. "For us, it's just that when we lose, we go with our plan; when we win, we go with our plan.

"We had a good win, but we cannot think we are there. Today showed that we have still lots of things to do.

"Things went really well, but lots of things didn't go well, and we really have to improve that, too. We'll start working on that again on Monday."

That is not to say Wiegman was unhappy with what she saw, adding: "I'm absolutely happy. It was such a high-level game.

"Of course the score says a lot: 5-1. That's really good, the game in the second half was really good, so there are very exciting things to see.

"Yes, we're in a good place, but still we have some things to improve."

The slow start was undoubtedly one area that could have concerned Wiegman, although she was enthused by England's response to only the third goal they have conceded in her tenure – this the first time they have trailed.

"It's very nice to score five goals, but for us it actually was good that we got behind for the first time and how we reacted to that," she said.

"We needed to come back from not playing well, conceding a goal, and get the game to a higher standard. That was good."

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