Jill Scott urges England to keep their focus at Women’s World Cup
The midfielder is at her fourth World Cup.
Jill Scott has stressed England must not be distracted by the occasion and “stay logical” when they face Scotland in their Women’s World Cup opener on Sunday.
The teams meet in a much-anticipated Group D clash in Nice two days after the tournament gets under way.
Lionesses midfielder Scott said: “The fans probably see it as a little weekend break away – for us, it is one of the biggest games of our lives.
“I think what’s important is we don’t get lost in the emotion of the occasion and we just stay logical, because at the end of the day we are just stepping on to a pitch and playing a football match.
“We need to do our best to try to kind of drown out all that noise that’s coming from the outside.
“I’m sure the fans will have a fantastic time and hopefully we can put on a performance which makes them excited for the rest of the World Cup.”
Scott was part of the England team that thrashed Scotland – who were without key players Kim Little and Jennifer Beattie due to injury – 6-0 in their opening match at Euro 2017. Scotland were making their first appearance at a major tournament.
“To be honest, I haven’t even thought about that game, which probably shows how much I think this game is going to be completely different,” Scott said.
“I think at that time Scotland had fantastic players but they probably didn’t have the experiences that they have got now.
“I know there will be a lot more experience going into this one and I definitely predict it will be a much tighter affair than the one before.
“It’s not a straightforward game. A lot of their players we are playing at clubs with, a lot of them we are playing in the same leagues with, they have Champions League experience now, and it is going to be a difficult game. We have to go out there in the right mindset.”
Scott was speaking as Phil Neville’s England had their first training session since arriving in France on Tuesday.
The 32-year-old, who is at her fourth World Cup, said: “When I stepped out onto the (training) pitch, I said ‘it’s really starting to smell like a tournament’ and I think a couple of the girls thought I was a bit weird, but it’s just that excitement around that first game.”
She added: “To say that I’m at my fourth World Cup still seems a bit surreal. I know Phil’s done a couple of interviews where he’s said it won’t be my last tournament. I keep saying to him ‘let’s just try to get through this one first.’
“I think that’s the type of person I am. I don’t really like to look too far ahead. I’d like to think I’m in that mindset and it’s got us here today.
“But I’m enjoying my football, I feel physically fine, and as long as I’ve still got a smile on my face, I’ll keep trying to play for as long as I can.”
The #Lionesses training in Nice earlier today. Duggan withdrew from the session as a precaution after feeling a thigh issue. Stokes, with strapping on her left leg, did not take part. All the other players were involved. pic.twitter.com/LH5ov4nuys— Phil Medlicott (@pgmedlicott) June 5, 2019
Forward Toni Duggan was initially involved in the session at Parc des Sports Charles Ehrmann in Nice before withdrawing as a precaution having felt an issue with her thigh.
Meanwhile, Demi Stokes, who had sat out Saturday’s final warm-up match against New Zealand, did not take part. The defender was seen walking out on the grass with strapping on her leg.
Jade Moore, Rachel Daly and Mary Earps, who had also been missing at the weekend after picking up injuries, all trained.