Leah Williamson expects England improvement as Euro 2022 progresses

Krishan Davis
Williamson was satisfied with the three points
Williamson was satisfied with the three points / Naomi Baker/GettyImages
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Captain Leah Williamson believes England will improve as Euro 2022 progresses having put 'external pressure' aside to win their tournament opener 1-0 against Austria on Wednesday night.

It was a hard-fought match at Old Trafford, but - backed by a Euros record crowd - the Lionesses eventually prospered courtesy of Beth Mead's first-half winner, which narrowly crossed the line according to goal-line technology.

Speaking after the match, skipper Williamson - who started the match in midfield before doing a shift at centre-back in the second period - insisted the three points were the most important thing at this early stage.

"It was definitely not our best performance. You don't have to be at your best the first game but the points on the board it the most important," she said.

"We've got some things to work on for the next game to that's good it gives us something to strive for.

"I think the way that we've been playing that's been a natural thing that's happened and we've put in some really good performances. But tournament football is different. The game changes and everything's a lot more important that it was before.

"You start settling into it and it's annoying that you grow as the tournament goes on but we've done it, we've walked out with all the pressure and expectations everybody externally was trying to put on us and it's over now and we're off to a good start."

She added: "What an occasion. The fans came out and I think we connected with them pretty well but a good start to the tournament and three points, that's all I care about today.

"I kept my eyes closed in the national anthem. I think if I had looked at my mum, I would've started crying if I had got too involved in it so I kept it at bay and just focused on the football.

"It was loud, communication with each other becomes harder and there's times when it can kind of get in the way but I would take that any day."

England's match-winner Mead also revelled in the occasion, adding: "What an amazing night and really great to start the tournament with a win and really happy to get the goal for my team. I mean listen to the atmosphere it's unbelievable.

"I was pretty sure it went over [the line] but you always doubt yourself when there's a little bit of time in between but I was pretty sure it went over."

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