England captain Leah Williamson says that the squad’s depth is a real strength going into this summer’s UEFA Women’s EURO.
The Lionesses defeated reigning European champions The Netherlands 5-1 at Elland Road in Leeds last night. Three of England’s goals were scored by second half substitutes while two players who were introduced from the bench also rattled the woodwork.
Lieke Martens headed The Netherlands into the lead but Lucy Bronze’s mis-hit cross levelled matters before the break. Sherida Spitse then missed a penalty for the visitors before England substitute Beth Mead almost immediately fired the Lionesses ahead. Another substitute in Ella Toone netted England’s third before Hemp and Mead scored the fourth and fifth goals for Sarina Wiegman’s side.
When speaking to the media after the match, England captain Williamson highlighted the squad depth as a real strength.
“The value of everybody in the team is something that we care a lot about, making sure that everyone feels good so that when it is their moment, they are ready,” Williamson said.
“We can’t overlook the work that the girls that were on the pitch from the start have done to tire them out.
“I think the depth of our squad is one of our strengths.”
Williamson went on to hail the impact of the substitutes after they capitalised on a tired Dutch side who were playing their first competitive match since April.
She said “Sometimes you just need a few different people with a few different strengths. I thought they (The Netherlands) were good in the first half, we weren’t great but the work that we did tired them out and that’s when our quality really shone through. The girls that have come on have been absolute lightning.”
England now travel to Zürich to face Switzerland in a final friendly match on Thursday before the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 begins on 6 July.