‘Everyone Expects Us to Win’: England Tries to Live in the Now

‘Everyone Expects Us to Win’: England Tries to Live in the Now

Players, of course, have their own ambitions.

“We’ve all got dreams, and we all want to win,” forward Lauren Hemp said. “We’ll see how the tournament goes. But it’s something that we’re striving toward obviously, coming off the back of the championships and winning the Euros. It makes you hungry to want to win more.”

The 22-year-old Manchester City defender Esme Morgan is among the new faces vying for game time. “That’s really been emphasized, to be honest, that there’s no set places in the squad,” she said after going 90 minutes in the draw against Portugal. “There’s so much competition in every position across the pitch. Really in training you can see that: The standard is so, so high.”

Lucy Bronze, one of the team’s most senior players, saw her own history as a guide. “I went into 2015 as a young player not expecting to play much and I ended up playing in every single game, scoring goals, and I forced myself into the spotlight and broke out a little bit,” she said. “Anything can happen in a World Cup.”

Wiegman harbors her own hopes for the squad. “We have high expectations, too,” she said. But true to her instructions, she is staying in the now. She is not interested in discussing a potential rematch against Australia in the round of 16, or a possible collision with the United States, or Germany, or anyone else if England can navigate deep into the knockout stages.

“Let’s first see, ‘OK, we want to get out of the group stage,’” she said. “Then you come to the next stage and we see who is in front of us. It’s going to be very tough. And if we would get to the final, hopefully we do.

“It really doesn’t matter who’s in front of us. You just want to win every game.”

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