England Women

Sarina Wiegman reveals Steph Houghton's reaction to losing England captaincy

Ali Rampling
Houghton will not captain England at Euro 2022
Houghton will not captain England at Euro 2022 / Zhizhao Wu/GettyImages

Sarina Wiegman has revealed that Steph Houghton took the news that she had lost the England captaincy "very well", after it was announced that Leah Williamson would lead the Lionesses at Euro 2022.

Houghton took the armband in 2014 and captained England to three successive major tournament semi finals, but is yet to feature under Wiegman after missing the majority of the season with an achilles injury.

The Manchester City defender underwent surgery in February and is set to miss the remainder of the domestic season. She faces a race to get fit for this summer's European Championships, with Wiegman explaining the pair are in regular contact.

"I talked to her before camp, I've been in touch with her a lot - hopefully she will get back," Wiegman said. "She took it very well, I think really as a leader.

"Of course she's disappointed because she's been captain of this team for so long and she has done a tremendous job so lots and lots of respect to her. But also she knows - that's what we talked about too - that she hasn't joined this team for a long time.

"She came in September and had to leave because of an injury, she started playing with her club in January and then had to step out again, so she has missed so many things."

Houghton was selected for Wiegman's first England squad in September, but suffered her injury during camp before she could make an appearance under the new boss.

The Lionesses manager said the doubts over whether Houghton will be ready for Euro 2022 led to her decision to name her new captain now - but didn't rule the centre back out of making it to this summer's tournament.

"We hope she will get fit, but she has to be fit, she has to perform and starting to compete to make the squad," Wiegman added. "That's too hard to wait for that, so with all the things we've done during the season I thought this wasn't the moment to wait and appoint the captain.

"She takes it step by step and that's how we approach it together. We are in contact all the time and we will take it step by step. She gets support from the club, she gets support from us and then when she gets back she has to perform right away when she comes in training camps. We just take it step by step."