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England: Wiegman labels return France fixture a must-win to boost Euro 2025 qualification hopes

England suffered a 2-1 defeat to France at St James. Park to dent their Euro 2025 qualification hopes.

Sarina Wiegman of England

England head coach Sarina Wiegman says her Lionesses must win in France next week if they are to keep their hopes of qualifying for Euro 2025 alive.

They lost 2-1 to the French at St. James’ Park on Friday and now trail the Group A3 leaders by five points.

England have played at home twice so far in their campaign but are yet to register a win.

But they have a chance to turn their fortunes around in Saint-Etienne on Tuesday when they face France in a rematch.

The Lionesses took the lead through Beth Mead on Tyneside but volleys from Elisa de Almeida and Marie-Antoinette Katoto turned the match on its head.

Wiegman says she was happy with the performance but her players need to find a ruthlessness to kill the opposition off.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, she said: “It is very disappointing. We should have won the game.

“We have to win out in France if we want to be in a good position in July.

“Today we wanted to go and win and most of the time we played well. As a team and in defence, we did pretty good.

“We’re very disappointed now, that is very clear because really we all feel it was very unnecessary – but then we’ll move onto Tuesday.”

Mary Earps was forced off with an early injury and was replaced by Hannah Hampton, but there was a distinct lack of substitutes after that from the head coach.

She explained that she is trying to get players who have been absent some valuable minutes and admitted she did not want to alter the dynamic of the match too much.

She added: “We’re trying to get players closer to more minutes. With the technical staff and I, we decided before the game on this.

“I took so long [to make changes] because I thought we played well,” said Wiegman.

“If you bring other players in, then the dynamics change – which sometimes we want because you want new energy. But I still thought we did well.

“Then we conceded and we had a chat about what kind of midfield we wanted to get a little different players. That’s why we waited a little longer.”


Picture of Mitch Fretton

Mitch Fretton

Mitch is a freelance sports journalist with experience working for LiveScore, GOAL and Colchester United. He has experience working from both his desk at home and in the press box at games covering the Champions League and international football.