Sarina Wiegman pleased to see ‘incredibly good’ Ada Hegerberg return on international scene as England boss insists Lionesses can ‘harm’ Norway ahead of Women’s Euro 2022 clash July 10, 2022 – Posted in: Soccer
Having the eyes of an expectant England on your every move is something even legendary managers like Fabio Capello couldn’t handle.
But Sarina Wiegman, who has been likened to England men’s manager Gareth Southgate, is taking everything in her stride as England Women eye glory on home soil at Euro 2022.
They kicked off the tournament with a narrow 1-0 win over Austria in a match where for the most part the Lionesses were short of the standards they’re capable of reaching.
England’s next group match on Monday, live on talkSPORT, should represent a sterner test as they come up against a very talented Norway side that made very light work of Northern Ireland in their Group A opener.
The Norwegians are particularly devastating going forward – their main weapon being striker Ada Hegerberg, who returns to the side after a hiatus which saw her miss the Women’s World Cup in 2019.
Some managers may have wished they wouldn’t have to be up against the likes of Hegerberg, but not Wiegman, who’s glad to see the 27-year-old back on the international scene.
“It’s so important and so good that she’s back,” Wiegman told talkSPORT. “An incredibly good player and we need to have her on the pitch during these big tournaments.
“It’s good to have her back. Of course for the Norwegians it’s really good to have her back. We want all top players to compete in these top tournaments so I’m happy.
Norway ran rings round the admittedly group minnows in Northern Ireland, racing to a 3-0 lead after just 31 minutes in a match they went on to win 4-1.
In contrast, the Lionesses struggled for vibrancy against the Austrians but Wiegman is relishing the prospect of seeing what Norway have to offer.
“Of course it’s a challenge to do well against Norway but they also have challenges with us too,” Wiegman added.
“We’ve talked to our team about their threats, their strengths and their weaknesses. We think we can harm them.
“Up front we know they’re really good and I think we’re really good in defence. We just have to defend as a team and hopefully our tactics work.”
England were perhaps guilty of looking a bit nervous at Old Trafford as they opened the tournament which they’re one of the favourites to win.
But there’s no sign that Wiegman, who guided her native Netherlands to European Championship glory in 2017, is letting the expectations getting on top of her.
Asked if she’s feeling the pressure, Wiegman added: “Yes, of course. But on the other hand, it’s a match. What we’re trying to do is play our best game.
“We have a plan, we’ve trained our plan, we’re ready and then we go on the pitch and see how we can execute it.
“We just have to do our best. You have an opponent that’s really good and at the end we just have to see where it takes us.
“Of course we hope that we win this match but in this competitive tournament, before all the games start you don’t know whether you’re going to win or lose.
“Yes I have confidence in our team and the qualities we have so we’ll see what happens.”
Euro 2022 live on talkSPORT
Every England match of the Women’s Euros 2022 Championship will be live on talkSPORT.
Sam Matterface will be lead commentator for England games, alongside co-commentators Lianne Sanderson and lead presenter Adrian Durham, while Faye Carruthers will be reporting live pitchside with all the latest England news.
Meanwhile, Joe Shennan and Lucy Ward will lead commentary for Northern Ireland games.