Sarina Wiegman compared England’s long wait for a major tournament win to a national “trauma” as the Lionesses aim to back up their Euro 2022 triumph at the women’s World Cup.
Victory on home soil last year secured England’s first ever major tournament in the women’s game and ended a 57-year-wait for any success since the men’s side won the 1966 World Cup.
“What I really noticed is wanting to win a tournament is so deep in society that it was almost a trauma,” England women’s boss Wiegman, who recently received the honour of a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) from Prince William, told the BBC.
“After winning, people were so proud and it was so intense, it’s really been incredible.”
England are now aiming to win the women’s World Cup for the first time when the tournament gets under way later this month in Australia and New Zealand.
Wiegman’s women are among the favourites having fallen just short at the semi-final stage of each of the last two World Cups.
“The expectations are really high and yes, we have a dream,” she added.
“In a tournament, it’s so unpredictable. I think there’s lots of countries that are still favourites and they are really, really strong and I think we’re one of them.”
However, England have not won a match from open play in 2023.
A 30-game unbeaten run was ended by a 2-0 defeat at home to Australia in April and their only warm-up friendly before the tournament ended in a 0-0 draw against Portugal last weekend.
But Wiegman is confident those results will act as a timely wake-up call before their World Cup begins against Haiti on July 22 in Brisbane.
“When you keep winning, or when you’re tired and keep winning, it’s OK,” she said. “But now we really felt it—losing doesn’t feel good.
“Maybe we did need it to take the next step and to learn. You learn from every game but these lessons were I think from a higher level because of the defeat.”
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