Interview: Jo Potter reflects on Euro 2017 Spain victory and upcoming Portugal clash
Jo Potter has warned Portugal that England will not rest on their laurels on Thursday night, with one point still required to secure their safe passage into the Euro 2017 quarter-finals.
The Lionesses are on a roll after they backed up their 6-0 thrashing of Scotland with a battling 2-0 win against Spain, but they still have some work to do if they are to extend their stay in the Netherlands.
Portugal are not expected to cause too many problems after they stumbled to a 2-1 win against Scotland, but if England take their eye off the ball then they could come unstuck.
Despite two wins from two, a defeat to Portugal coupled with a handsome Spanish win against Scotland could send England packing and ruin their blossoming bid to become champions.
But veteran Reading player Potter has called on the Lionesses to remain switched on and not let their hard work come undone on the brink of the knock-out stages.
“We knew that coming off the back of two wins, our team morale would be really high,” the Mansfield-born midfielder said.
“We are near enough qualified, we are now looking forward to the Portugal game and getting nine points out of nine.
“We are not going to take any team lightly, we know in a major tournament that everybody here deserves to be.
“We are looking for nine points out of nine and I am sure our game plan will slightly change from what it has been in the last two games but that is one thing we have got with this group.
“Mark can throw a game plan at us and we can execute it, and I think we have shown that in the last two games.
“We found a way to win against Spain and we will looking to do that again against Portugal.”
VIDEO: Jo Potter Interview
England have been involved in two contrasting games and emerged on top both times, with the victory against Spain a show of real resilience.
But luck was on their side too, when referee Carina Vitulano awarded Spain a penalty for handball against Ellen White but then reversed her decision after right back Lucy Bronze reminded her of the new rules which state a ball deflected off the leg onto the hand cannot be penalised.
With the score 1-0, that proved crucial and Potter hailed the calmness and maturity England showed – which will only stand them in good stead moving forward.
“We had a meeting a week or so previously with the referees, and they came and cleared up some issues and they actually brought that up,” she said.
“We were quite aware of that, so it was a good job we took note. Lucy, Jade [Moore] and Steph [Houghton] definitely made the right call.
“We have got some real cool and calm heads, and they did right thing at the right time and managed to go and speak to the referee calmly.
“That definitely helped us and we commend the referee for making the right decision in the end.”
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