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Mark Sampson believes the England women’s team can become the best in the world if they manage to keep their focus.
Sampson has overseen a steady development since taking over in 2013, guiding the Lionesses to third in the 2015 World Cup, and they opened their Euro 2017 campaign with a stunning 6-0 win over Scotland on Wednesday.
Jodie Taylor was the hero, netting a hat-trick in Utrecht, while Ellen White, Jordan Nobbs and Toni Duggan were also on the scoresheet.
Next up is Spain on Sunday in Breda, before England close their Group D campaign against Portugal in Tilburg. England have never won a major tournament but the steps Sampson’s side are making suggests they are heading in the right direction.
However, at 6.50, they are third in the betting behind 3.40 favourites Germany and 3.60 France. Success in the Netherlands would only boost the women’s game back home but there is still a long way to go.
The boss is doing his best to keep his feet on the ground but admits it is hard not to feel positive about the potential of his current crop of players.
“This team is a work in progress – we’re not the finished product yet,” said Sampson. “The exciting part for me is how good we can become over the next five matches.
These players enjoy the pressure, they thrive in it and this was the stage they were born to be at. “With every good performance they put in, it excites me more for how far they can go. We could be the best team in the world.”