Ahead of England’s historic clash with Germany at Wembley WomensFootball.co.uk spoke to Leah Williamson about getting used to her role in the national team.
It feels like getting a start has been a long time coming for you, as one of the most versatile players available to Phil Neville, where do you think you can help the team best?
“I just want to get on the pitch anywhere possible, but I do think I’ve got a lot to offer at centre half, I think that’s where I can delivery most consistently.”
The match against Brazil showed the errors that can happen at any level, but as you and Steph Houghton are so new to playing together and centre back, is it just a case of not quite knowing each other yet?
“When you have a consistent back line, you start to learn more about each other, your communication gets nailed and stuff like that. Working with a player like Steph, she’s an easy person to work with, she’s very good at her job and as a young person leaning off of her, I’m trying to take responsibility and come to the table and at the same time, once there’s change in the backline there’s going to be a few communication mistakes and we want to clear up those things… and we have time to experiment.”
The mistakes that have been made by the defence, they’re not the type you’d expect from the players in the squad. The goals conceded by England, those aren’t the type you’d see you or Steph concede for Arsenal or Man City…
“It’s different, different teams, different back lines, different people that you’re working with, club level is completely different to international football. The opposition that we face is different, it’s a lot more of an intense game so when you’re trying to come together and work together so you do get players doing things they wouldn’t at club but we have to…. We want to iron out those mistakes, you’ll get players like me not being happy because we want to rectify them but I do put an emphasis on… right now we are in a luxurious position of this isn’t competition, we’re building for another tournament and I’d hate to waste time and opportunities now.”
With about half of the goals England have conceded under Neville having come from crosses and although it seems like something that would be easy to weed out, each goal is different and by Williamson’s own assertion, England have the players to do better.
“Those are easy things to fix, which is why people look at them because you just think, ‘stop conceding from crosses it’s as simple as that’ there’s different elements to it but ultimately we need to be better. Absolutely, we’re aware of it and we have the players to eliminate that so I don’t think it’s much of a problem.”
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