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Sampson says England girls must hit top gear

Mark Sampson insists England Women can progress to the World Cup knockout stages, starting with "fifth-gear football" against Mexico.

Head coach Sampson will field an attacking line-up tonight in the belief that a "foot-to-the-floor" approach is the best way to shake off Tuesday's 1-0 opening defeat to France.

The 32-year-old branded the Mexico clash a must-not-lose game rather than a must-win, with a further Group F battle against Colombia still lying ahead.

"It's a really big game for us," said Sampson, ahead of tonight's showdown in Moncton, Canada (9.00pm UK time).

"We've put a cross against a game now and we can't afford any more.

"We know that we simply can't afford to lose this game. I'm not so sure that it's a must-win game however, but it's definitely a must-not-lose game for us.

"But we're really confident that if we bring our maximum foot-to-the-floor football, our fifth-gear football, this England team and this England performance will be good enough to get us some points on the board and put us in a good place in the group.

"There are still two games to go in the group stages, we're playing teams in matches in which we feel if we're at our best we'll win, so we're confident we can go into it, pick up a victory and that will put us in a great place.

"The objective is to qualify from the group, and that will give us a great opportunity then to build up a decent amount of momentum through the tournament."

Belfast Telegraph


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