Fran Kirby suffers injury after clash with Georgia Stanway; Lucy Bronze scores only goal in training match; No 1 spot up for grabs in Phil Neville’s side
Friday 23 October 2020 22:12, UK
England Women manager Phil Neville says all the players are playing for a place to start against Germany on Tuesday
England Women played an intra-squad training match at St George’s Park on Friday in preparation for Tuesday’s game against Germany. Sky Sports News reporter Anton Toloui was there – here are his five takeaways.
1. Intensity is the key to improvement
Esme Morgan admitted the XI vs XI squad match had more intensity than some WSL games. That showed as tough tackles were put in around the pitch during the 70-minute match.
Neville wants more intensity following a poor run of results
Head coach Phil Neville admitted after the game he’s demanding more from his squad after seven defeats in their last 11 games. That message is clearly getting through with the game played at a ferocity and pace many international matches could only dream of. Picking the starting 11 for Germany on Tuesday just got tougher.
2. Intensity comes at a cost
Fran Kirby had to be taken off on a golf cart just before half-time after a tackle on Georgia Stanway. The two players, both wearing No 10 and potentially competing for the same spot in the England side, both needed treatment after a nasty coming together.
Fran Kirby is an injury worry for England after coming off injured at St George's Park
Stanway needed her fingers taping, Kirby had to be helped off the pitch leading to worries of another serious injury for the Chelsea attacker. Neville insisted after the game Kirby was taken off as a precaution and should be fit for next week.
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Forward Georgia Stanway talks about her injury after England’s Women played an intra-squad training match at St George’s Park before Tuesday’s friendly against Germany
3. Goals still a concern
England have a lot of talented forwards but there was only one goal scored in the training match and that was an own goal by Lucy Bronze. Chloe Kelly had a penalty saved by Carly Telford, while Ellen White and Beth England struggled to have any clear chances.
A Lucy Bronze own goal was all that separated the two sides
The game changed when Niamh Charles came on at half-time, the Chelsea winger causing problems for left-back Alex Greenwood and it was her cross that set up the only goal. With Beth Mead and Nikita Parris also in the squad, there’s a lot of attacking talent but it’ll be interesting to see whether some of the younger players get a chance to impress instead.
4. Who’s England’s No 1?
Hannah Hampton and Carly Telford started the game at St George’s Park with Ellie Roebuck on the bench. Roebuck appears to be in possession of the No 1 jersey but Hampton’s WSL form for Birmingham hasn’t gone unnoticed and Telford’s penalty save was a reminder of her talents. Will Neville opt for the experience of Telford, Roebuck or 19-year old Hampton?
5. Jill Scott’s 150 party
Phil Neville admits not all 24 players in the England squad will travel to Germany, but one player guaranteed to play will be Jill Scott. Scott will earn her 150th cap for England next week, only the second person to achieve that.
Jill Scott will win her 150th England cap against Germany
You’ll struggle to find a more popular member of the England squad. Coaches admire her work ethic and ability, older players love her personality and drive, younger members of the squad are thankful for Scott taking them under her wing. All also agree she’s an excellent player who will be part of the England setup for some time to come.