England relish ‘incredible’ record Euros support

MANCHESTER, England — Georgia Stanway called on England supporters to continue bringing “the noise” to “rattle” the opposition as they look to build on their 1-0 opening night win over Austria in the 2022 European Championships.

The match at Old Trafford was played out to a record crowd for a women’s Euros match, with 68,871 supporters cheering on England. Stanway was named Player of the Match for an impressive showing in the middle of the park, as Beth Mead scored England’s winner in the 16th minute to give Sarina Wiegman’s team a key victory to get their campaign off and running.

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And post-match, Stanway called on England’s faithful to continue backing the team.

“We need that at every single game,” Stanway said. “Bring the noise. It can rattle opposition!”

Wiegman called the atmosphere “incredible” and “unbelievable”.

“We had lots of noise standing behind us,” Wiegman said. “I hope they keep coming and they will because we’ve sold the tickets.”

The noise was such that Stanway said it was hard to hear instructions from the bench, something Leah Williamson also spoke about post-match.

“What an occasion,” Williamson told the BBC. “The fans came out. We connected well. It was a good start to the tournament. Three points is all I care about.

“It was pretty special. I had no idea what to expect. We embraced it really well. I kept my eyes closed during the national anthem. If I’d looked at mum I’d have started crying, if I got too involved. I kept it at bay.

“It’s loud. Communication becomes harder. At times it gets in the way but I’d take that any day. There was a great atmosphere.”

For England, getting their campaign off to a winning start was essential. Wiegman described some aspects of their performance as “sloppy” but said getting the victory was the most important outcome from Wednesday evening’s match in what she labelled a “mature” showing.

“We were a little rushed in the final third,” Wiegman said. “We created a lot of chances but that final touch, we can do better. We kept them to 1-0 which was good and we got three points. [But] we lost the ball too quick. They wanted to push for a goal so pressed and they really had to keep the ball. We didn’t do that well enough. We were calm in the final minutes and kept the ball longer.

“This start is so important. It gives such a boost to the team and the crowd so that was very important. We had some good moments in the game but should have scored more. We had hard moments in the game and got through them so that was good.”

Wiegman made a surprise selection choice in the build-up as she opted to start skipper Williamson at centre-back alongside Millie Bright, having played Williamson for much of her tenure in midfield. The call meant Alex Greenwood missed out.

“That was a very hard decision,” Wiegman said. “We have tried a couple of things and in the end I choose the back four that went out today. Leah Williamson, Alex Greenwood and Rachel Daly have all played a lot this season. They all bring different things and they are all good.”


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