With a week of training behind them England are in perfect condition to book their place at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, according to head coach Mark Sampson.
He said: “We’ve enjoyed some great training at St. George’s Park and the players have again come here with a competitive mentality and a mentality to improve and be better at the end of every session – and it’s really shown.
“The training and application of the players has been fantastic and it puts us in a good place now. We feel we’ve done all the work and we’re ready to go across the white line, express ourselves and enjoy our football.
Wales v England
2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifier
Cardiff City Stadium
7.05pm, Thursday 21 August
Live on BBC3
“It’s always nice to get the players back together and it feels like a club environment this time because a lot of the players that were involved in that camp have come back into this one and we’ve really taken the momentum from that performance.”
After completing their final training session at Cardiff City Stadium where the game will take place on Thursday evening, Sampson also said that the players have picked up where they left off after the resounding 4-0 victory against Sweden.
“You can see the players are hungry to get better. The most exciting part about that Swedish performance was that when the players came into the changing room they knew they’d played well but that also there is plenty more to come from this team, and that was only the start.
“Every training session for us now is a chance for us to improve and get better, and every match is an opportunity for us to grow as a team and we’re taking the game against Wales as exactly that.”
“These players are competitive animals, and every time they cross the white line there’s a determination to win”
England go into the fixture against Wales knowing a point will be enough to secure their place at the World Cup in Canada, but Sampson insists his players will need no motivation to go all out for victory.
“I haven’t ever had to speak to them about that,” he added. “We’ve got such a great group of professionals.
“The players are going to come here with the mentality that we need to produce maximum performance level. If we do that I’m confident we’ll get the result we need to get us to the tournament – but we want to win the game. There’s no doubt about that.
“These players are competitive animals, professional athletes and every time they cross the white line there’s a determination to win.”
“And it’s an England v Wales game. It’s a fixture that has got a fantastic history and the players are aware of that and they’re ready for a huge challenge.”
Fans can buy their tickets via the stadium ticket office hotline only, on 0845 345 1400, and should request the away end in blocks 202 and 203.
Tickets cost £5 for adults and £2 for concessions. It will also be broadcast live on BBC3 with coverage starting at 7pm.