Hinderwell hot-shot Beth Mead fully focussed on quarter-final clash with Norway

Hinderwell hot-shot Beth Mead is fully focussed on quarter-final clash with Norway, despite admitting to frustrations at being left out of the starting XI in England's last two encounters at the FIFA Women's World Cup.

By Daniel Gregory
Thursday, 27th June 2019, 4:50 pm

Ahead of Thursday night's crunch quarter-final clash, Mead admits it has been frustrating to be on the sidelines since making a decent start to the tournament.

"Of course it is," the Arsenal forward told The Whitby Gazette.

"Any footballer is lying if they say they enjoy sitting on the bench. I have an expectation now and working hard to be in that starting 11, but if not I will help my team in any way I can.

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"He (head coach Phil Neville) has spoken to me, I have no knocks it's just tactics, I guess I don’t fit in at this moment in time."

The Hinderwell hot-shot is expecting a tough task when England tackle Norway in the quarter-finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup on Thursday night.

“They are going to be a tough test,” added the Arsenal forward.

“We know they’re a really good team and watched them the other night.

“They’ve gone right through the 120 minutes and were so composed with their penalties, which was very impressive.

“They’re a team we’re not going to take lightly.

“We’re prepping and recovering and putting ourselves in the best shape possible to perform.

“We’re looking forward to it but we know it’s going to be a tough game.”

England made it through to the quarter-finals courtesy of a bizarre victory over an ill-disciplined Cameroon side, who vented their frustrations at refereeing decisions on numerous occasions.

Although not on the pitch to experience this first-hand, Mead was proud of the way her teammates dealt with the situation.

"The team were amazing, they dealt with everything in a professional manner," she added.

"It was one of the most craziest games to be a part of, but the team did ourselves proud, stayed calm let the referee and officials deal with it and worry about ourselves."

Mead believes the behaviour of the Cameroon side sets a bad example for young girls watching on all over the world.

The former Sunderland player added: "Of course it does (set a bad example), that’s not how we want the world or young girls to view the women’s game and on such a big platform it’s disappointing that was shown."

England's crunch quarter-final clash with Norway kicks-off at 8pm and is live on BBC One.