England coach Hege Riise has hailed Ella Toone’s maiden appearance for the Lionesses as ‘a good debut’ after the Manchester United forward came off the bench to play the second half of the 6-0 win against Northern Ireland at St George’s Park.
Toone replaced Arsenal’s Jordan Nobbs at the break and she put in a lively performance during the second half. The 21-year-old’s first outing for the Lionesses was capped-off by a coolly taken penalty kick 15 minutes from time after fellow substitute Chloe Kelly had been fouled in the box.
When speaking in the post-match press conference in which FAWSL Full-Time were present, England coach Riise labelled Toone’s performance as ‘a good debut’.
“She had a good second half” said Riise. “She found the pockets of space well with her passing.
“She played some nice passes to Georgia (Stanway) who could turn, then we could run at them.
“She was involved in two or three of them and she worked the space well.
“She scored a goal as well, that was a good debut.”
Toone was one of the England players who new coach Riise had not seen play all that much prior to this afternoon’s match but the Norwegian is learning about her qualities very quickly.
She added “I had seen Ella in training but I hadn’t seen her that much, I had seen her play a few games for Manchester United.
“She covers the space, she is always looking to play high, she has good passing and she is a good combination player. She impressed me.”
Toone was on former England boss Phil Neville’s radar prior to making her senior debut this afternoon. The forward was first called up to the England squad for a training camp at St George’s Park back in September. After impressing against Northern Ireland, the player will now have her sights set upon making her mark once again in the next Lionesses’ fixture against Canada in April.