Owen believes Jodie Taylor's hot streak can drive Lionesses to Euro 2017 glory

01 August 2017 02:24

Michael Owen believes Jodie Taylor's hot streak can drive England all the way to Women's Euro 2017 glory.

The Arsenal Ladies striker has already plundered five goals in the tournament, beginning with a hat-trick against neighbours Scotland, and is three clear of her nearest rivals in the scoring charts.

She will once again be the focal point when the Lionesses take on hosts Holland in Thursday's semi-final in Enschede and Owen, who knows plenty about the art of international poaching - having netted 40 times for his country - expects her to keep on performing.

Owen, who is working with tournament sponsors McDonald's, told Press Association Sport: "I always watch strikers closely and look for the little things other people might not notice and Jodie Taylor is a thoroughbred out-and-out goalscorer.

"She's always looking at how she'll get into the box and get her next goal. She's hungry.

"When you've got the goals behind you that she has you become a different player, you're loaded with the knowledge that you've done it under pressure, that nobody is calling for your place, and you can just concentrate on the game in front of you.

"Everybody is looking at you, relying on you and some people can only play when it's like that. I felt at home in big games, I scored in big games and I felt I was meant to.

"Some players go in hoping to be a hero and some go in knowing that they will be. She's going through that stage now, feeling like she can't miss, and we're watching a girl at the top of her game.

"England need to play to that strength. Sometimes we go into tournaments as underdogs but it feels like they've been building towards this for a long time and I feel like we're favourites now."

Of the five tournaments Owen played in between 1998 and 2008, arguably the best chance of success came at Euro 2004 when the Three Lions were ousted on penalties by hosts Portugal.

And while he acknowledges playing against the home side will be a different experience for Mark Sampson's side, Owen also sees the chance to band together in adversity.

"A lot of the time England take more fans than the opposition so this one will feel different," he said. "But it's just an away game, and we play half our career away from home. When you've got a good team spirit going away can be really beneficial, you're so much tighter as a unit going into the lion's den.

"The ladies will know that and they won't be worried about it."

:: Michael Owen is helping McDonald's celebrate 15 years of its Community Football Programme and its longstanding commitment to inclusivity. For more information on McDonald's sponsorship of the UEFA Women's EURO 2017? visit mcdonalds.co.uk/betterplay

Source: PA