Mark Sampson confident England Women can beat the best in the world

21 February 2017 01:09

England Women boss Mark Sampson has told his players the time has come to show they can beat the best in the world.

The Lionesses head coach gave the strongest indication yet of his Euro 2017 plans on Tuesday as he named his squad for the SheBelieves Cup, a round-robin tournament that features England, France, Germany and hosts the United States.

Former captain Casey Stoney and goalkeeper Karen Bardsley return from injury, but there is no room for Arsenal's FA Cup final match-winner Danielle Carter, while Chelsea striker Eni Aluko remains out of favour.

Sampson selected a 28-player party for last month's friendly fixtures, when a 1-0 defeat to Norway was followed by a goalless draw with Sweden.

He has chosen just 23 this time, with Notts County goalkeeper Carly Telford dropping out, along with Liverpool's Gemma Bonner and the Chelsea trio of Gilly Flaherty, Claire Rafferty, and Gemma Davison.

Rachel Daly, a striker for the Houston Dash, is selected as a defender.

Sampson, whose team finished third at the last World Cup, said: "The SheBelieves Cup is a real opportunity to experience tournament format football against the best teams in the world.

"Tournament football is unique. It's about finding a way to win and we will go into the SheBelieves Cup with that mindset."

At the SheBelieves Cup last year, England lost 1-0 to the United States, 2-1 to Germany and drew 0-0 with France.

Sampson said: "We came close but didn't get over the line. This year we need to put that right and find our way to win.

"We'll be coming up against some really tough opposition but winning this tournament has to be our objective and would be a real feather in our cap going into the Euros."

England Women depart on Saturday for Philadelphia, which stages their opening game against France on Wednesday, March 1.

They tackle the USA in New Jersey on March 4, before playing Germany in Washington DC on March 7.

In the summer, England play Scotland, Spain and Portugal in their Euro 2017 group, with the opener against the Scots taking place in Utrecht on July 19.

Squad: Bardsley (Manchester City), Chamberlain (Liverpool), Earps (Reading); Bassett (Notts County), Bright (Chelsea), Bronze (Manchester City), Daly (Houston Dash), Houghton (Manchester City, captain), Potter (Notts County), Scott (Arsenal), Stoney (Liverpool), Stokes (Manchester City); Christiansen (Manchester City), Moore (Notts County), Nobbs (Arsenal), Scott (Manchester City), Williams (Arsenal); Carney (Chelsea), Duggan (Manchester City), Parris (Manchester City), Taylor (Arsenal), Williams (Notts County), White (Birmingham City).

Source: PA

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