After falling to a 3-1 defeat away to France last week the Lionesses have returned to the UK and take on Canada at the Bet365 Stadium in Stoke; their final game under interim manager Hege Riise.
Canada sit eighth in the world rankings and are now playing under new manager Bev Priestman, who was assistant to Phil Neville at England until last year. In their first game of the international break, played on Friday night in Cardiff, Priestman’s side ran out 3-0 winners over Wales.
When reflecting on her team’s performance against France Riise said: “We looked at how we were attacking and the space that we left when we attacked with that many players. We were talking about how we could position the two central midfielders to be more supportive if we lose the ball.”
However, she is happy with the higher-level opponent the team is facing: “In order to go further and develop you need some games where you can have a challenge and see how you deal with it.”
[blockquote text=”“When I got this job I was watching the She Believes Cup from last year and she (Hemp) was a player that impressed me at this level. She had a good attitude when she was brought on.”” show_quote_icon=”yes” text_color=”#dd3333″]
The manager praised youngster Lauren Hemp, who replaced Beth Mead in the second half to make her seventh senior appearance, “When I got this job I was watching the She Believes Cup from last year and she was a player that impressed me at this level. She had a good attitude when she was brought on.”
Looking ahead to the game against Canada, Riise believes her team need to be more clinical in front of goal; something they struggled with against France. “We just need to finish our chances, that’s the detail we are looking for.”
Riise says their aim is to see every player over the two games so the starting 11 for this game will have changes from last week. After missing the game against France Lucy Bronze is still in doubt for this fixture, but Demi Stokes has since trained with the team and could get some minutes.
The game kicks off at 7:15 pm on BBC Four, with coverage starting at 7 pm.
Photo: The @FA via Getty Images