England defender Alex Greenwood is confident vital new connections are forming in camp that will see an improved display when the Lionesses take on Denmark in their second World Cup game on Friday.
Georgia Stanway’s retaken penalty was enough to secure England a nervy 1-0 victory in their opener against underdogs Haiti, but did little to ease concerns about their attack as it extended the streak without a goal from open play to three matches.
Yet this is a much-changed line-up from last summer’s European Championship triumph, with Sarina Wiegman’s starting line-up in Brisbane showing five changes from the one that lifted that trophy almost a year ago.
Alex Greenwood spoke to the media ahead of England’s clash with Denmark (Zac Goodwin/PA)
Greenwood, who replaced now-forward Rachel Daly at left-back against Haiti, said: “I was prepared. I knew my role in the team and whether that’s centre-back or that’s left-back, we’ve all played in those positions before whether that’s at club or country.
“We might not play together every week at club level, but we’re very familiar with each other.
“And that’s in training, we’ve been in training camp for three weeks together before the tournament started, and that’s enough time to prepare for your partnerships.
“You build up relationships, but as a tournament starts those things develop naturally as well. So for us, again, it’s just about keeping doing that in training, keeping forming those partnerships and eventually it will come together.
“I think it’s a case of coming together and trying different things with different people. Everyone has different strengths, and our wingers are all so gifted in different ways.
“Whoever you play with you try and play to their strengths.”
Greenwood will hope it comes together sooner rather than later as the world number four Lionesses now face much higher-ranked opponents than debutants Haiti, number 53 in FIFA’s global table, in 13th-placed Denmark.
England’s defence face a particularly potent challenge in ex-Chelsea forward Pernille Harder, while Wiegman’s forwards will need to find the finishing touch after squandering numerous chances in their opener.
Pernille Harder will be a threat for Denmark (Gary Day/AP)
While she would not speculate over potential changes to the starting line-up, Greenwood added: “I don’t know about changes in personnel, but I think for us coming away from the game, we definitely created chances and had chances to score more goals.
“That’s not a concern. We know we’ve got to put the ball in the back of the net when we have those chances and I think that will come.
“We’ve got enough players, enough quality in this team to create the chances and to put the ball in the back of the net.”