England

Euro 2017: Fara Williams and Nikita Parris reflect on clinical Scotland win

The Lionesses thumped their bitter rivals 6-0 in Utrecht, underlining their status as one of the pre-tournament favourites – alongside defending champions Germany and France.

But the competition now ramps up, and Spain will provide a genuine threat to Mark Sampson’s side in Breda this weekend.

Victory for England would allow them to rotate and experiment against minnows Portugal in their final group game next Thursday and Manchester City star Parris is expecting another exciting contest.

“The quarter-finals will be a big one so if we can settle the group early, it will be huge for us. Then we can look forward to the knock-out stages,” the 23-year-old said.

“Spain won 2-0 in their group game and they will want to come top of the group, so we expect them to come out fighting.

“I reckon it will be a very counter-attacking game, and both teams will attack, attack and attack. Once we clarify our game plan, we will focus entirely on them.

“Everyone in the team wants to start, and you have to perform at the end of the day. Hopefully we can all play our part, whether we are starting or being in the stands.

“We have got to be patient and wait for our opportunity. It is a long road to the final and there will be many more moments to come.”

Parris came on in the second half in Utrecht, with the game already sewn up, to make her major tournament bow.

The Liverpool-born forward has taken the game by storm in the last two years and generated plenty of hype, but she is currently content to for her chance after a two-year battle to get into Sampson’s squad.

After Jodie Taylor’s hat-trick, and further goals for Ellen White, Jordan Nobbs and Toni Duggan, Parris will have to be patient but she insists she is ready to take every chance which comes her way.

“I put in hard work at Man City, and when I first moved there I said I wanted to get into the England squad and now I am here for the first time,” she said.

“I finally got on the pitch for my debut, which I am very thankful for, and hopefully there are many more moments to come.

“At first, it was a surreal moment with so many England fans clapping and cheering. It was a massive relief to get on the pitch and settle the nerves – now I am fighting fit for the rest of the tournament.”

SSE is an official partner of the England Women’s team and is proud to be the energy behind women’s football, supporting the game from grassroots through to international level. Follow us at @YourSSE

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