Chelsea defender Millie Bright has revealed the vital role that England’s substitutes are playing at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019.
With a 23-player squad, a number of Lionesses are forced to watch on as their teammates do battle in France, although Phil Neville has promised rotation during the tournament; citing the USA using 19 players on their way to glory in 2015.
Bright was one of those subjected to the sidelines, due to injury, on Friday night as England overcame Argentina 1-0 in Le Havre, but explained how the alternate perspective is playing a role in England’s success so far.
She told Thomas Smith of the University of Derby Football Journalism course: “When we do our reviews, everyone’s got a time to say what they’re feeling.
“It is a different angle, you get a different view of the game, and it’s good to compare what the subs see and feel and what the girls felt in the game.
“It’s completely different, so it’s good to get the comparison. I think it’s good for us to give feedback, and that’s what the players always say.”
Having mentioned those off the field, Bright expanded on how the input is recognised by those on the field.
The 25-year-old said: “Whoever the starting XI is, we always say to the subs ‘if you see anything, let us know’ or if you see we’re playing too deep and there’s spaces on that side, because in the games sometimes you don’t see it. So it’s good to be able to have those conversations and be really honest with each other.”
The centre-back, who signed for Chelsea in 2015, has returned to fitness following a shoulder injury picked up against Scotland. She praised the patience of her teammates in beating a determined Argentina side last time out.
She said: “We didn’t need to go forward, we were 1-0 up, we didn’t need to kind of penetrate and go for another goal, we were in a great position.
“I think it comes down to knowing when to just keep the ball and when to go on, I think the girls did that excellently in the game.”
By Thomas Smith (@mrthomassmith_) – University of Derby Football Journalism student