England have no concerns about their attacking ability despite failing to score in each of their last two matches, midfielder Ella Toone insists.
The Lionesses, fourth in the FIFA world rankings, kick off their World Cup quest on Saturday against Haiti in Brisbane, just over a week after playing out a goalless draw in a behind-closed-doors training fixture with Canada on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
It was the same result as their pre-tournament home send-off against Portugal in Milton Keynes on July 1, but Toone has barely heard the subject raised during team training sessions in Australia.
She said: “I don’t think it’s been spoken about as much as other people have. We’ve had a lot of games under Sarina (Wiegman), we’ve had a lot of different goalscorers who have scored so many goals, so I don’t think it’s anything that we’re worried about.
“Like I say, we’ve had time off, we’ve come back together, we’re learning how to play with each other again, we’re finding those connections on the pitch and we’re having those chances.
“I think I’d be more worried if the chances weren’t coming. It’s now about us putting them away, but I don’t think that’s had a massive effect on us. I don’t think that we’re dwelling on that.
“We’re very confident and we know we’ve got a lot of goalscorers in the group as well, so we’re definitely creating those chances. It’s now about making sure we put them in the back of the net.”
Friday’s match-up against seventh-ranked Canada was not for official records and not a formal fixture.
Bethany England did not feature in the Lionesses’ behind-closed-doors training match with Canada (Zac Goodwin/PA)
Almost all of Wiegman’s 23-woman squad saw some action, save goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck and forward Bethany England.
The decision not to play England, who was in Wiegman’s European Championship-winning squad but did not see any game time – started the social media rumour mill swirling, but the Tottenham striker appeared to be in good health as she fully trained with the squad on Saturday.
A total of 19 Lionesses were out on the pitch at the Sunshine Coast Stadium session, while Millie Bright, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Lauren James, Rachel Daly, Esme Morgan and Keira Walsh had a recovery day.
On Monday the team will swap seaside for city when they move into their Brisbane hotel ahead of their meeting with Haiti, who sit 53rd in the world rankings.
It seems Toone, who scored the first of England’s two goals in the 2-1 Euro 2022 final, will be especially sorry to say goodbye to the Sunshine Coast after a personally transformative time here.
She added: “I’ve been doing amazing things in Australia. I’ve really found myself here. I never normally wake up early, I’m a proper sleeper.
“But I woke up early the other day – six o’clock – I went and saw the sunrise. I absolutely love walking along the beach. And the other day I went into the sea as well. Luckily the girls got me some goggles as I can’t go in with my eyelashes (on).
“I was under the waves every single day and I thought, ‘Wow, this is me’. Going in the sea has definitely, really made me a changed woman. It’s got me trying different things.
“I always say (I’d do) it, but I’ve actually started reading so that’s nice. I’m reading Jamie Vardy’s autobiography at the minute. I don’t actually read novels, just autobiographies and they’ve got a few pictures in, so that helps!”