Lucy Bronze admits there is room for improvement for England

Lucy Bronze admits there is room for improvement for England

Lucy Bronze admits England have room for improvement after a shock defeat to New Zealand provided a “wake-up call” before their quest for World Cup glory.

Phil Neville’s Lionesses, ranked third in the world, fly to France on Tuesday as one of the favourites to lift the trophy.

But Saturday’s send off in Brighton did not go to plan as they failed to capitalise on their dominance and slipped to an unexpected 1-0 loss against inferior opposition.

Lucy Bronze
Lucy Bronze preferred to concentrate on the positives of the defeat to New Zealand (Mike Egerton/PA)

Lyon defender Bronze feels there were positives to take from the display at the Amex Stadium but accepts the team must learn from the experience.

“The scoreline might be frustrating but the performance wasn’t, we still played some very good football,” said Bronze.

“We created I don’t know how many chances but probably more than we normally do, but we didn’t put them away and one little slip up and they scored.

“It’s a friendly and a wake-up call and it just shows that we’ve got more work to put in in the next week.

“You know that you don’t want to feel that (disappointment) again and going into each game now thinking we don’t want to get beaten, you’ve got to turn it on for every team.

“We respected New Zealand, we knew on paper that we are the better side but it just shows football is football, anybody can win on the day and we can’t switch off for even a second in the World Cup.

“We have to be at our best for every second of the game, no matter who we are playing against. That’s something that this team normally prides itself on.”

England Women v New Zealand Women – International Friendly – AMEX Stadium
Sarah Gregorius (left) celebrates scoring the winner (Daniel Hambury/PA)

Sarah Gregorius’ 50th-minute finish settled the south-coast friendly, with Jodie Taylor squandering the best of England’s chances.

Bronze insists she has no concerns about the Lionesses’ ability to find the net.

“Absolutely not. We’ve played against Denmark (a 2-0 friendly win) and we scored two goals when we probably weren’t playing at our best, so we know that we’ve got goals in us,” she said.

“We’ve got some of the best strikers in the world, top attacking players and we know we can create the chances, it’s just putting them away and I’m absolutely not worried.”

Saturday’s match was played in soaring temperatures, yet it is likely to be even warmer in Nice when England face Scotland in their Group D opener next Sunday.

Bronze added: “I would like to think that the English are more adapted than the Scottish to the (hot) weather!

“It was really, really hot (on Saturday) but it’s what it’s going to be like in Nice and potentially a lot of places in France.

“Playing Scotland is the biggest focus and everyone is super excited. That’s our focus now, just winning that game.”