England forward Beth Mead says that there is a lot of competition for places in the team whilst shying away from the question of whether she will start the opening game of the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 against Austria.
The Lionesses defeated European champions The Netherlands 5-1 at Elland Road last night. Mead came off the bench to score twice and claim the Player of the Match award.
England boss Sarina Wiegman named a strong line-up for the match in Leeds, however, it was her substitutes who stole the show as the Lionesses recovered from a poor first half performance to go on and win in style. Forward Mead has seen her place in the side threatened by the return of Manchester City’s Chloe Kelly and the player said that competition for places is very strong going into this summer’s EUROs.
“There’s a lot of talent in this team, we are competing for positions,” Mead said when speaking in the post-match press conference.
“Of course I’d like to be starting that first game but it is Sarina’s decision at the end of the day.”
Commenting on the return of fellow forward Kelly, Mead said that she is benefiting from the competition for places, just as she has for club and country throughout this season.
She said “I wouldn’t say I became complacent but competition always makes you better. This season, I’ve had to compete for my position for club and country and it has made me a better player.
“I am enjoying the challenge, it is making me a better player and I know that I have got to do every session to the best of my ability and try and bring that onto the pitch as well.”
Mead revealed that England boss Wiegman reminded the team of their quality at half-time last night and the Lionesses’ improved second half showing was down to putting trust their own ability.
“We know we have the quality, we know we have the depth and Sarina just re-emphasised that to us,” she said. We know that we can play good football but sometimes, we were panicking and doing things out of character. We know that we need to trust our own ability and second half we did that.”
England are back in action again on Thursday when they travel to Zürich to face Switzerland in an international friendly.