Soccer ‘More like the England I know’ – Canada’s Bev Priestman on the Lionesses TV Channel
Canada head coach Bev Priestman said England looked “more like the England I know” after her side drew 1-1 with the Lionesses in their opening match of the Arnold Clark Cup.
Priestman was assistant manager with England under former boss Phil Neville and helped guide the team to the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup.
England are preparing for the European Championship on home soil in July.
“They look way more ready than we have seen the last two times we played them,” said Priestman.
“England look more like the England I know. They are on their journey towards the Euros. Credit to them, they were really good.
“They have great players and great staff. You would expect that group to do really well at a Euros on home soil – they will be disappointed if they don’t.”
Olympic champions Canada, ranked sixth in the world, beat England 2-0 when the teams last met in April, before current boss Sarina Wiegman took over in September.
Under Wiegman, England are unbeaten in seven matches. Prior to this game they had won six in a row in World Cup qualifying, scoring 53 goals without reply.
She also saw her team concede their first goal under her watch in the draw with Canada.
“This was a game that we wanted,” said Wiegman, who welcomed a test against an opponent ranked within the world’s top 10 for the first time as England manager.
“Now you saw [England] under the highest pressure in possession and out of it.
“In the first half we did well but saw things we could do better like switching the ball. In the final third we need to be more composed to get that last pass right.
“Absolutely it is a great lesson and we need this lesson. It is a totally different game to ones we’ve had.
“We will get games like this at the Euros so we need them to learn from. It gives us so much information and things to discuss.”
England took a first-half lead through centre-back Millie Bright’s excellent volley, before Manchester City’s Janine Beckie scored a stunning equaliser.
But Bright, who was a standout performer for England, said the performance showed “progress” under Wiegman.
“Collectively as a group it’s a new slate and a fresh journey,” she added. “Everyone is bringing their club form into camp and playing their best.
“When players are comfortable and happy that’s when you see their good performances. It was an exciting game. It shows the progress we have made as a team.”