Bassett wants perfect end

Laura Bassett is confident England will not take their eye off the ball despite sealing World Cup qualification with a game to spare.

The Chelsea player scored as Mark Sampson’s side defeated Wales in Cardiff last month to book their place at Canada 2015 and maintain their 100 per cent record in qualifying.

The Three Lions converged on St. George’s Park on Saturday to prepare for their final Group 6 match, away to Montenegro – a side they comfortably dismissed 9-0 in April – in four days’ time.

Montenegro v England

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015
Group 6 qualifier
3pm BST, Wednesday 17 September 2014
Petrovac, Montenegro

But Bassett believes England will remain focused as they strive for 10 wins out of 10.

She said: “We know we’ve qualified but I think we’re also conscious that we don’t want to let our standards drop.

“We want to keep pushing. We want to improve on the Wales performance, keep a clean sheet and keep striving to score more goals.

“[A] perfect record would be absolutely brilliant and that’s what we will be focused on.”

Bassett continued: “Everyone is fighting for places and that’s really healthy. Training is so competitive and everyone is trying to make themselves better. If we keep pushing each other I really don’t think complacency will be an issue.”

The 31-year-old has established herself as a key member of Sampson’s squad and she has started the last three qualifiers on the left side of a midfield diamond, though she is equally adept at centre half.

Bassett has travelled to two Euro finals and one World Cup with her country and she applauded her team-mates for reaching next summer’s showpiece event – what will be England’s sixth consecutive appearance at a major tournament.

She said: “We really enjoyed the Wales game. It was special and we could celebrate that.

“It was a really good achievement, especially the style and the manner in which we did it, we were very professional. The fact that we can celebrate it a game early was absolutely fantastic.

“We have drawn a line under qualifying; we have ticked that box. But the hard work started the day after we qualified. We can really push on now.”

The qualifier in Montenegro is England’s first piece of preparation for Canada, followed by a tantalising match against seven-time European champions Germany at Wembley in November.

And Bassett, who made her senior team bow in 2003, said her team-mates will approach their World Cup planning with the correct mentality.

She added: “All the girls are fantastic with their professional attitude.

“The [more] we can keep pushing each other we really are going to get the best out of each other.

“If we can keep learning that little bit more, if we can keep training that little bit harder, doing all the little things it is going to stand us in good stead and we will be there to support each other.”