07 December 2022

Euro 2017: Millie Bright and Karen Carney look ahead to Portugal clash

July 27, 2017

With England’s goal-hungry forward line enjoying a Euro 2017 feast, Karen Carney knows she needs to take her chance against Portugal tonight to prove she can become the leader of the Lionesses’ pack once again.

The Chelsea winger was overlooked for the opening two games against Scotland and Spain, with boss Mark Sampson opting for Ellen White and Jordan Nobbs to support strikers Fran Kirby and Jodie Taylor – a decision which has so far paid off with eight goals already scored.

But Sampson is going to rotate against Portugal, with Carney set to start – as the Lionesses go in search of the one point they need to secure their safe passage into the quarter-finals and prolong their stay in the Netherlands.

With such a strong group at his disposal, Sampson has been keen to point out that there are always places up for grabs and, for Carney, that is music to her ears.

“I will be ready,” the forward said.

“I think Mark knows what everyone can do and he has a tough job selecting a team so we have to respect it, but if I am called upon he knows I will give 100 per cent, he knows what I can give to this team and I want to start as much as possible – like any player.

“I just need to be professional and wait for my chance, but the girls are all doing so well and making sure they are doing the business.

“We have got some amazing attacking players and we have all been practising our shooting. Jodie and Fran have been very clinical and you can see that from the goals we have scored.

“Whoever plays up front in any game will be ready to score some more hopefully.”

Others who could start include Fara Williams and Toni Duggan, while Sampson received a boost yesterday with Casey Stoney declared fit after a hamstring strain kept the veteran centre-back out of the first two games.

Stoney could come straight into the side in place of skipper Steph Houghton, who is one yellow card away from a suspension – but even though there could be a price to pay, Sampson wants his players to get extra physical in Tilburg.

“We are always asking the players to show the right intentions in their attitude and if that means we need to pick up some yellow cards then that means we pick up yellow cards,” he said.

“We have got complete trust in the squad that if we pick up a suspension or injury, we have the players who can come in and do a good job.

“So we need to raise the ball in terms of physicality but we also need the discipline.”

Charlie Bennett in Tilburg, Sportsbeat

SSE is an official partner of the England Women’s team and is proud to be the energy behind women’s football, supporting the game from grassroots through to international level. Follow at @YourSSE    






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