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Alex Greenwood insists England are not carried away by Euro 2022 favourites tag

Alex Greenwood insists England are not carried away by Euro 2022 favourites tag

  • Lionesses saw off the Netherlands 5-1 in a tournament warm-up
  • ‘The noise outside’ will not distract team, says defender

Alex Greenwood insisted there is “no chance” of the Lionesses becoming complacent after the team’s 5-1 demolition of the reigning European champions the Netherlands on Friday.

“With this group? No. No chance,” she said. “We’re very much in the place we want to be. We looked at the game really honestly; 5-1 in the end was probably a little bit flattering.

“It just shows the mentality of our group – that we can come away from a 5-1 win and go, ‘We’re so much better than that in areas of our play’. When we were good, I thought we were really good.”

Plenty have marked England down as Euro 2022 favourites after the win, including the Netherlands manager, Mark Parsons. Greenwood, though, said the team is trying to shut out that talk.

“For us, on the inside, we’re very much focused on what went well, what could have gone better, and the noise outside is the noise outside,” she said. “Obviously, we’ll see things and read things, but we’re not going to get carried away. We’ve still got just over a week to go, and I think we’re in the right place.”

England travelled to Switzerland for a week-long training camp on Monday without record goalscorer Ellen White, who is still absent from the squad after testing positive for Covid. It is hoped she will fly out and join the side as soon as she presents a negative test.

“I’m pretty sure she’s absolutely fine,” Greenwood said of White’s symptoms. “I spoke to her when we found out she was positive. I went through it the week earlier and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone. It’s really not nice at this stage of the tournament to sit at home and watch your team win 5-1 against the Netherlands and probably wish you were part of that. It’s important for us to make her feel that she’s very much a part of it.”

A player catching Covid so close to kick-off in the tournament opener at Old Trafford next week has heightened fears a little, the defender said. “We’re obviously conscious of who we’re around and stuff … we don’t want anyone to catch that before the tournament. It’s important we don’t, so we want people to respect our space as well, but it’s also not something that’s always on our mind.”

Despite a small delay to their travel, getting out of the country for a camp is “always good to help us refresh a little bit,” Greenwood said.

Set in the middle of the countryside near Burton, there is a risk of cabin fever at St George’s Park. “I think when it gets to Friday, you’re ready to drive out of the exit,” Greenwood said with a grin.

“We’re really blessed with the facilities we’ve got but when you come from an environment where you drive to training, then drive home, do what you want, come and go, then you’ve got to stay – for the first few days you’re a bit lost, but then you adapt to it.”

Each week, though, the players have been allowed home over the weekends and it has had a big impact.

“The staff are very aware of how important family is to the group and how much they help us get through tournament football,” she said. “It is important, everyone’s got their loved ones at home and their own situations. When we get to St George’s we work hard Monday to Friday knowing that on the weekend we can go home and switch off a bit.

“The work is done, park it, we’re in the right place, we can go home and – I won’t say switch off again because it’s almost impossible – but we can enjoy our family and we don’t have to think about where we’ve got to be and at what time. We can just be ourselves a little bit.”

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