England fully focused on World Cup goal says Lionesses star Russo as team aims to extend unbeaten run
ALESSIA RUSSO insists all eyes are on next year’s World Cup for England with the Euros champions chasing football’s biggest prize.
And the in-form forward – who could feature against Luxembourg on Tuesday – paid a touching tribute to retired icon Ellen White.
Tomorrow night’s qualifier is a dead rubber for Sarina Wiegman’s high-fliers with her team having qualified for the tournament in Australia and New Zealand.
And the fixture could see Russo add to her international tally of nine goals with the Lionesses having thrashed their opponents 10-0 last September.
Russo told ITV Sport: “The Euros are done. It’s behind us now and Australia is the next stop of the journey so to tick (World Cup) qualification off is really exciting.
“The summer was really special, but in football, you don’t have too much time to reflect so now, Australia’s next.
“We’ve got lots of games coming up between now and then but (our) full focus is on the tournament and looking towards it.”
The Lionesses’ win against Austria was the first match they played since the post-Euros retirements of Jill Scott and team record goal scorer White.
And Russo was full of praise for the history-making striker who scored 52 times in 113 England appearances.
Russo added: “What she (White) has done to the women’s game is unbelievable. She was a true, true goal scorer and she’s just a credit to England.”
The Lionesses’ duel with Luxembourg at Stoke’s Bet365 Stadium could see Wiegman alter her line-up up top.
The competition to be England’s next number nine will be a hotly contested one.
Russo and Beth England are in contention with rising star Ebony Salmon also looking to impress between now and the World Cup’s start next July.
FREE BETS AND SIGN UP DEALS – BEST NEW CUSTOMER OFFERS
Tomorrow evening’s duel between the world’s fourth best team and a side ranked 113 places below them, could see the hosts fill their boots.
And it could see Lauren James get more minutes having made history with the Chelsea starlet and her sibling Reece becoming the first brother and sister to play as senior England internationals.
Of the Lioness forward’s efforts, England chief Wiegman said: “She did (impress in training).
“We know she went to Chelsea and didn’t play many minutes last year. She was just trying to get back all the time.
“In preparation with her club, she played more minutes than she did last year and she did really well.
“She came into camp and did really well here too, so we thought we’d bring her in.”
Among the upcoming England games, followers have their eyes on is a sold-out October 7 Wembley clash with the USA.
It will be the first time an England team coached by Wiegman goes up against the four-time World Cup champions
Their American opponents – ranked the best team on the planet – have won three of their last five clashes between the sides going back to March 2017.
Wiegman adds: “The USA (match) is a top-level game. Here in Europe, we all think we are catching up (with them).
“Hopefully we can show that at Wembley in October.”
Comments are closed.