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    England boss Wiegman reckons high-scoring defeats are not good for development of women’s game

    SARINA WIEGMAN thinks top sides demolishing minnows in women’s international games is harmful to the sport’s development.  The Lionesses boss was reflecting on her team’s 20-0 crushing of their opponents, the highest-scoring win EVER for an English national side. 
    England recorded the biggest ever international win with their 20-0 thumping of LatviaCredit: Getty
    The whopping scoreline comes in a month in which five teams fell to double-figure drubbings in the 2023 World Cup qualifiers.
    Results include Belgium’s merciless 19-0 thumping of Armenia with the team ranked 109 places below their victors in Fifa’s rankings. 
    And it prompted questions on whether lower-ranked sides – new to international competition – should have to pre-qualify to battle top teams for a World Cup spot.
    Wiegman said: “You want competitive games and these are not competitive games. 
    “You want to develop the well-developed countries already and the countries that are not that far. I think we have to look at it. I’ve said that before.
    “In every country, you want to develop the women’s game but I don’t think it’s good that the scores now are so high. 
    “I know that has the attention of the federations and Uefa and Fifa, and that’s good because I don’t think a 20-0 game is good for the development of anyone.”

    Wiegman’s sentiments on hefty drubbings on the world stage were echoed by ex-England forward Lianne Sanderson.
    And the football pundit suggested it may take time to quell negative stereotypes and comments in response to high scoring victories in women’s games. 
    In a comment published on Twitter, Sanderson wrote: “I don’t know what the answers are because you can only play and beat what’s in front of you, so well done England – but 20-0 isn’t good for the women’s game at all. 
    “Unfortunately, it’s going to take a while to shake stereotypes because whenever there is a high-scoring women’s game, people react differently to if it’s a men’s game. 
    “Or if a goalkeeper makes a mistake people again react differently. That’s just the reality, unfortunately.”
    England had four players notch up hat-tricks in their defeat of Latvia at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium.
    Ellen White was among the quartet who bagged three goals to take her international tally to 48.
    Ellen White became the Lionesses all-time top scorer during England’s defeat of LatviaCredit: Rex
    The Manchester City striker made history by breaking Kelly Smith’s record of 46 goals become to Lionesses all-time leading scorer. 
    The hefty victory comes five weeks after they beat their opponents 11-0 away. 
    And it left Wiegman eagerly looking ahead to a round-robin February tournament with the Lionesses facing Germany, Spain and Olympic Gold winners Canada. 
    Wiegman added: “We really need some top-level games now which we’re going to have because then we’ll really know where we are. 
    “I do think we have done very well and we’re doing very well but we know we need those high-level games to really know where we stand.
    Northern Ireland beat Macedonia 9-0 at their Seaview home groundCredit: Getty
    “I’m really positive about that. But we have to see.”
    Elsewhere in Group D Northern Ireland thrashed North Macedonia 9-0 in front of a full house of their home fans at Seaview. 
    The game, which followed an 11-0 away rout of their rivals, saw Liverpool’s Rachel Furness surpassing David Healy to become Northern Ireland’s all-time top scorer with 38 goals. 
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    Wiegman urges England to be ‘aggressive’ against Latvia as team prepare for clash without Parris

    SARINA WIEGMAN wants England to show no mercy in front of goal against Latvia when the two sides clash in Doncaster later. And the head coach praised Ellen White’s consistency with the Man City ace two strikes short of becoming the Lionesses’ all-time top scorer.
    Sarina Wiegman’s England side will play Latvia next following their 1-0 win against AustriaCredit: Getty
    Wiegman’s aces face Latvia in their second World Cup qualifier this month and following a 10-0 thrashing of their opponents back in October. 
    The England chief, 52, told reporters: “It’s about just getting our game to the next level again.
    “So, speed up the game, have a high ball tempo, but also being patient, having runs behind the defence – we’re just putting emphasis on those things all the time. 
    “And then in the final third, stay aggressive, keep scanning and composed, and of course, ruthless, to get the ball in the net.
    “The team has to collaborate really well, stay connected and co-operate well so we can create many, many chances and score these goals.”
    The hosts, who have opened up a five-point gap at the top of their qualifying group, will be without the services of Nikita Parris. 
    The Arsenal forward, 27, has returned home from the camp for a few days’ rest amid worries of her being overplayed. 

    The former Lyon star could be set to feature for the Gunners on Sunday when they take on Chelsea in the FA Cup final. 
    On Parris’ departure, Wiegman added: “Nikita has had so much load during the last two years, from (her move from) Lyon to England she hardly had any rest. 
    “We had some chats with her, also with the medical staff, and after the game we decided, together with her, it was good for her to have a few days off.”
    Nikita Parris has returned home from England’s camp amid worries of the forward being overplayedCredit: Rex
    Ellen White could be in line to start against Latvia with the forward aiming to break Kelly Smith’s all-time international scoring record of 46 goals. 
    On White potentially becoming England’s highest ever scorer, Wiegman said: “She has shown so much consistency, the way she lives football, that’s the only way you can do things like this.
    “It would be really nice if she scores a record goal, but we just have to score goals – it doesn’t really matter who scores the goals, as long as we score a lot of them.”
    The duel between England and Latvia, who have lost all four qualifiers they have played, will take place at Doncaster Rovers’ Keepmoat Stadium, 
    The League Two club’s home has also been used by the Doncaster Rovers Belles, a team that has produced several top WSL players including Lionesses skipper Millie Bright.
    Former Doncaster Belle Millie Bright will skipper England against Latvia at Keepmoat StadiumCredit: Getty
    Wiegman added: “I learned a little about Doncaster – the Belles of course – about their tremendous history and them winning prizes in their earlier years. 
    “What (their past) players have done there makes the next generation take the next step. 
    “We should always be thankful for the generation of (England) players that have come through there.” 
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    England Women’s boss Sarina Wiegman takes her first training session with the Lionesses More

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    England Under-17s coach Lydia Bedford reportedly a target for Leicester City Women’s job after Jonathan Morgan’s exit

    LEICESTER CITY are reportedly considering Lydia Bedford as a candidate for their manager’s job following the sacking of Jonathan Morgan.The England Women’s Under-17 coach is thought to be among the frontrunners for the role, according to Telegraph Sport. 
    Lydia Bedford could be in line to replace Jonathan Morgan (pictured) after Leicester City parted company with the coachCredit: Getty
    Brent Hills, the FA’s ex-head of women’s development, is also thought to be a possible contender with the pair believed to be the Foxes’ leading targets for the position. 
    The Telegraph claims Bedford is the preferred choice for the manager’s post with officials hopeful that Hills could take up a supporting job. 
    Meanwhile, former Foxes and England striker Emile Heskey, – the club’s women’s football development chief – is managing the training of their WSL side as recruitment takes place. 
    And it is thought Manchester United Women’s academy boss Charlotte Healy could also be in line for a coaching role if Bedford and Hills are hired. 
    Leicester, who play Arsenal next, sacked former boss Morgan on Thursday ending his seven-year management of the women’s team.
    His departure followed a tough eight-game winless run in the top tier with the club yet to pick up a point in the division.

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    The Foxes boss led the side to a historic promotion to the WSL following their triumph in the Championship last season.
    During his tenure, Morgan, who took charge in 2014, led his team to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup in 2020 and to the semis of last year’s League Cup. 
    Leicester are currently bottom of the table in the top-flight but are just a point behind Birmingham City.
    Blues are set to host Manchester City after the international break in what will be Darren Carter’s first game in charge of the side.
    Meanwhile, Leicester face a daunting away duel with league leaders who are yet to lose a game in the WSL this term. 
    The Foxes and Birmingham will then go head-to-head on December 19 in what could be a pivotal match in the battle to avoid relegation this season.
    Emile Heskey is currently coordinating the training of Leicester City WomenCredit: PA
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    England 1 Austria 0: Lionesses ace White bags winner in landmark 100th game as Wiegman’s side beat Austria

    ELLEN WHITE feels ‘super lucky’ to become an England centurion as the Lionesses thwarted stubborn Austria in a 1-0 win at the Stadium of Light. The forward’s match-winning strike on her 100th game saw her move a goal short of Kelly Smith’s all-time record with the hosts unbeaten in five World Cup qualifiers. 
    Ellen White moved one goal shy of equalling Kelly Smith’s all-time record of 46 international goalsCredit: Zuma Press
    White netted England’s winner in the Lionesses World Cup qualifier clash with AustriaCredit: Getty
    Before the game White – who has netted 45 times for the team –  was presented with a special jersey to mark her milestone landmark appearance. 
    And it was fitting the Manchester City star bagged the winner against the team she scored against during her first senior performance in 2010. 
    White, 32, said: “It’s come full circle for me in terms of making my debut against Austria and then my 100th cap. 
    “I’m incredibly proud to have represented the country 100 times. 
    “I feel super lucky to be part of this team and be surrounded by such talented players and for us to get the win, that was the main goal. 
    “It was a really tough game in tough conditions and I’m really proud to have helped the team win.”
    England’s victory saw them strengthen their grip on pole position in the Group D battle for a 2023 World Cup spot. 
    And White’s strike saw the Lionesses consign the visitors to their first defeat in the qualifiers with her side yet to concede against any of their rivals. 

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    Sarina Wiegman, 52, added: “I’ve gotten to know Ellen as a real professional player, a terrific team player with the consistency she brings and still she wants to become better every day. 
    “If you have 100 caps, it means you’ve been so consistent. “You also see that everyone is so happy that she scored. 
    “But as long as we keep scoring goals then we’re happy and if she will break that record we will be very happy for her.
    Wiegman predicted a tougher test for England following their 4-0 defeat of Northern Ireland and 8-0 and 10-0 hammerings of North Macedonia, Latvia and Luxembourg. 
    And Austria were keen to give them one at various moments although the hosts had the strongest chances. 
    Fran Kirby was a persistent threat in attack along with Beth MeadCredit: ©MI News & Sport Ltd
    Fran Kirby came close to teeing up Lauren Hemp in the 14th minute with the winger narrowly missing the chance to bury a cross at the back post.
    England were denied moments later with a corner finding its way to Beth Mead with a high boot from Laura Weinrother thwarting her chance to score.
    The hosts turned up the pressure around the half-hour mark with Hemp forcing a quality save from Manuela Zinsberger.
    And they looked set to bag a goal when Mead’s pass glanced narrowly over the head of White before the England hotshot bundled the ball home following a Kirby cross. 
    The second half saw Austria up the ante forcing two stunning stops from Mary Earps. 
    I do think now we also need to be exposed to top, top countries and top opponents which will occur in February. Then we can really see where we areSarina Wiegman
    First from a Barbara Dunst shot a leaping one-handed save from the keeper in the 49th minute. 
    And then from Maria Plattner’s strike with Earps pushing the ball over the bar moments later with England caught short in defence. 
    Wiegman added: “Those two saves were difference makers because we’re 1-0 (up). She needed to have a very explosive action two times in a row. She made the difference.”
    The hosts had a penalty shout waved away after Austria skipper Carina Wenninger appeared to bring Mead down in the box around the 60th minute. 
    Skipper Millie Bright looked set to double England’s lead following a 67th-minute corner before the ball was headed out of danger. 
    And a last-ditch tackle denied White a chance to equal Kelly Smith’s record tally of 46 international goals before the win was sealed ahead of a clash with Latvia. 
    The result means England have won all five games played under Wiegman since her September arrival. 
    The England boss said: “I’m really proud of the performances. This was one of the hardest games I think. 
    “But I do think now we also need to be exposed to top, top countries and top opponents which will occur in February. Then we can really see where we are.”
    Mary Earps pulled off two quality saves to protect England’s slim leadCredit: Focus Images
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    Wiegman expecting tough Austria test and hails White’s ‘amazing journey’ to 100 England international caps

    SARINA WIEGMAN hopes Ellen White will ‘have fun’ when she makes her landmark 100th senior England appearance.  But the Lionesses boss warned helping the striker break Kelly Smith’s all-time scoring record will not be the team’s priority against Austria. 
    Ellen White is in line to make her 100th senior appearance for England when they play Austria – and is close to breaking Kelly Smith;s all-time goal record for the LionessesCredit: Reuters
    England face their sternest World Cup qualifier test against their rivals at the Stadium of Light with both sides unbeaten in Group D after four games.
    And their upcoming clashes in Sunderland and Doncaster could see White surpass Smith’s tally of 46 goals with the Manchester City ace, 32, just three short of equalling this figure.
    On whether the Lionesses will be looking to help White break the record, Wiegman, 52, said: “It doesn’t matter who scores, we just have to score goals as a team. 
    “We’ll be really happy when she breaks the record, but it’s not our main point to have Ellen score. We have to score the goals.
    “Ellen is focusing on the game and it is going to be a special one. Hopefully, she will have a great performance for herself and for the team. 
    “She has had an amazing journey (in the game) and to reach 100 caps is so impressive.” 

    Skipper Millie Bright added: “Ellen is fully focused on the game and is a true professional. Everything she does is for the team.
    “Obviously, it’s something that will be in the back of her mind, but her focus is 100 per cent on the team and going out and putting on a good performance for the fans.”
    Austria, who are second and two points behind England in Group D, have won three and drawn one of their four qualifiers this year netting 21 goals.
    Current players in the side that reached the 2017 Euros semi-finals include Arsenal keeper Manuela Zinsberger and Hoffenheim striker Nicole Billa. 
    But the visitores will be without skipper Viktoria Schnaderbeck with the Gunners centre-back currently out of action with an injury. 
    Sarina Wiegman expects Austria to be a tougher challenge for England followingCredit: Getty
    Meanwhile, the Lionesses will be without stand-in skipper Leah Williamson due to hamstring problems with Bright set to captain the side in their next two games. 
    A win for Austria would see them leapfrog England to the top of Group D with Wiegman’s aces facing Latvia at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium on Tuesday. 
    The team, currently ranked the 21st best side in the world, will be a stiffer test for England with the visitors yet to lose a qualifier clash.
    Wiegman added: “They have a style of play that’s very organised. I expect a tougher game than any other we’ve played so far.”
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    Shiels says Northern Ireland win was for George Best after team’s 11-0 thrashing of North Macedonia

    KENNY SHIELS dedicated Northern Ireland’s record-breaking drubbing of North Macedonia to football legend George Best.Shiels’ side crushed their rivals 11-0 – with their win coinciding with the 16th anniversary of the death of the Manchester United icon.
    Northern Ireland thrashed North Macedonia 11-0 to go level on points with Austria in their World Cup qualifying groupCredit: Press Eye
    Kenny Shiels says Northern Ireland’s triumph was a win for George Best, on the 16th anniversary of his deathCredit: Empics
    The legendary winger, one of the best players ever, made 37 appearances and scored nine goals for Northern Ireland.
    And the match, which was the fifth of their World Cup qualifying campaign, saw Rachel Furness join David Healy as Northern Ireland’s all-time top scorer on 36 goals.
    An ecstatic Shiels said: “I thought [the match] was controlled really well by the girls. Before it started, we said, ‘Let’s do it for George’.
    “He was our hero, and he wore the No 11 shirt when he played for us.
    “We’ve done it in the 11th month, we’ve scored 11 goals and so all of that is resonating with me.
    “It’s fantastic and I hope he is watching us up there to see that we’re doing it for Northern Ireland because he was one of our heroes, if not the hero.
    “That’s been in my inner thoughts. Try and get 11 and get a message up to George.”

    Before the game, Northern Ireland midfielder Sarah McFadden said players intended to approach the match with ‘no ego’
    By half-time, the Durham star and her team-mates were 6-0 up before notching up another five.
    And the team had six different goal scorers with Rebecca McKenna, Lauren Wade, Kirsty McGuiness and Birmingham’s Rebecca Holloway all on target.
    And Everton’s Simone Magill bagged four goals while Liverpool ace Furness netted a hat-trick.
    The scoreline could have been far bigger for the visitors, who crashed the woodwork three times and saw Furness miss a first-half spot-kick.
    Rachel Furness netted a hat-trick for Northern IrelandCredit: Press Eye
    Shiels’ aces brushed their opponents aside in the Macedonian capital Skopje in the third win of their campaign for a 2023 World Cup spot.
    Northern Ireland are set to host their rivals at home in the second game of their qualifier double-header this month.
    The match will be played in front of a full house at their Seaview ground on November 29.   
    Shiels added: “We play them again Monday and it will be a total totally different ballgame.
    “Let’s bring it on The Green and White army will be there as well.”
    Simone Magill and Kirsty McGuiness were both on target for their teamCredit: Press Eye
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    Emile Heskey to take charge of Leicester Women’s training after Jonathan Morgan axed after horror start to season

    LEICESTER CITY WOMEN are on the hunt for a new manager after sacking Jonathan Morgan following eight defeats in eight WSL games.Foxes and Liverpool legend Emile Heskey will take training before their Conti Cup match against Manchester United.
    Emile Heskey will oversee Leicester Women’s training ahead of their league cup game against Manchester UnitedCredit: �MI News & Sport Ltd
    Jonathan Morgan has become the third WSL manager to be axed from their role this termCredit: Getty
    The former England striker was appointed as the club’s head of women’s football development in October.
    The Foxes have struggled in the top tier following their promotion from the Championship with the team yet to pick up a single point in the league.
    And their 1-0 home loss to Everton on Sunday saw them eclipse Yeovil Town and Doncaster Belles who are the only two sides to have lost their opening seven games in the division.
    Morgan’s assistant Michael Makoni and his sister Holly, who is first-team coach, will be also leaving their roles at the club.
    In a statement, Leicester said: “All three have played an important role in the development of LCFC Women, particularly since the club turned professional following its acquisition by King Power in August 2020.
    “The football club would like to place on record its thanks to Jonathan for everything he has helped the club to achieve during his time as manager, which included promotion to the WSL.

    “Retention of its WSL status is central to the club’s vision for the long-term development of women’s football in the city.
    “The Club feels a change in leadership is now necessary to give the team the best possible chance of achieving this in the remaining months of the season.”
    On the Foxes’ website, Morgan added: “This Club has been part of mine and my family’s life for 12 years from when my sister Holly Morgan joined as a young player.
    “To have taken Leicester from the Midlands Division 1 to a FAWSL club gives me nothing but pride.
    “Earning promotion last season in the manner we did will always be a memory I can share with the fans and the city.
    “This season has been disappointing, with injuries contributing to a difficult start, but we haven’t achieved the results we had hoped for.
    “I wish the Club, the staff and the players my very best.”
    Morgan, who took charge of the club in the 2014-15 season, oversaw Leicester’s storming run in the Championship last season with the team winning a historic promotion to the WSL.
    And the Midlands side, who lost just two of their second-tier games last term, enjoyed an impressive run to the Women’s FA Cup quarter-finals, last year before falling to a 2-1 loss to eventual tournament winners Manchester City.
    Morgan’s departure comes seven days from Birmingham’s sacking of Scott Booth with their team having picked up just a point from eight games.
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    Leicester are yet to pick up a point in the WSL after losing their first eight games in the top tierCredit: Rex
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    Chelsea star Kerr wants ‘lasting legacy’ on world stage and to make football history like ex-Everton ace Cahill

    SAM KERR is on the brink of surpassing Tim Cahill as Australia’s all-time leading goalscorer.And the Chelsea ace wants to leave her mark on the game like the Goodison Park icon.
    Sam Kerr is on course to surpass Tim Cahill as Australia’s all-time top scorer in international footballCredit: AFP
    Former Everton striker Cahill scored 50 goals for the SocceroosCredit: AFP or licensors
    Kerr, 28, is just one goal shy of equalling Cahill’s tally of 50 goals in a national vest, a record the former Everton star set in November 2013 when the men’s team beat Costa Rica in a 1-0 friendly.
    The WSL star, who signed a new Chelsea deal this month, told the Australian Associated Press: “Growing up watching him, I think everyone in Australian football if you asked who’s their favourite Australian footballer, they’d say Timmy.
    “It’s such a crazy one for me because Tim Cahill, to me, is just on another level
    “What he did for the Socceroos is amazing and honestly it will just be really surreal for me.
    “I can’t believe that I’m going to hopefully tie his record at some point and then to go beyond it, it’s going to be crazy.”
    Kerr, who will skipper the Matildas when they play the United States on November 27, currently has 49 goals in 102 senior international appearances.

    The striker, who is last term’s WSL’s Golden Boot winner, made her senior Matildas debut at just 15 coming on as a sub during a friendly loss to Italy.
    At 16 Kerr would go on to score her first goal in a Women’s Asian Cup draw with North Korea.
    The Kingsmeadow star is also part of a group of Australia Women aces who won a battle for better pay and work conditions after a players’ strike with football bosses agreeing to their demands.
    This year Kerr is due to play in her first-ever Women’s FA Cup final after the international break.
    Kerr and her Chelsea team-mates are due to face Arsenal in the Women’s FA Cup final after the international breakCredit: Prime Media
    The clash will see the Australia star’s Chelsea side take on Arsenal in the delayed final of last term’s contest.
    The Blues aim to win the Cup for the third time in their history.
    Should Chelsea triumph it will see Kerr win her fifth major trophy in England since sealing a high profile move to the club in 2019.
    And the forward, whose country will co-host the 2023 World Cup, wants to help change how the women’s game is seen in Australia.
    Kerr added: “If I’m honest, I’d like to have a lasting legacy, like someone like Timmy is going to have
    “I don’t just want to be a player that was good for a certain amount of years.
    Kerr hopes she and the Matildas can help change perceptions of women’s footballCredit: Getty
    “I want to have a legacy, that people talk about this time in football that we as the Matildas and me as a player changed the way the Matildas are seen and the way that women’s football is seen and the way women’s sport is seen.
    “For me, those things are done on the field, but also off the field and I’m really lucky, the whole team is pushing that way.
    “I hope that in 50 years’ time when people look back on the Matildas they see this decade as the turning point in women’s football because I feel like it is.”
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