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England Women captain Steph Houghton believes her side can do “something special” when they host Euro 2022.
The skipper, who has withdrawn from Friday’s World Cup qualifier against North Macedonia due to injury, remains in the captaincy role under new boss Sarina Wiegman, but the former Netherlands manager will pick her long-term captain after the international break.
Whether she wears the armband or not, Houghton looks set to be a part of England’s Euros campaign. The tournament was postponed by a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and, despite the disruption, Houghton says it will be a new chapter for the team.
She said: “[We] really feel we have the potential to go and do something special. It’s a clean slate for everyone. After the World Cup, results weren’t up to our standard and what was expected of an England team.
“There were some performances that were below par, but for me and for the rest of the players it’s about going out there, playing our football and showing everyone what a good team we are.”
Their match against North Macedonia is one of 10 qualifiers for the team, with their second coming on Tuesday against Luxembourg.
Arsenal’s Leah Williamson will captain the side on Friday in what will be Wiegman’s first game in charge, and the new boss has spoken about England’s chances at the Euros.
“You never know. What I have seen is that we have a very good team and the players are very willing to get better, to work together and are eager to learn,” she said.
“The ingredients are here to perform really well but, as I said earlier in the week, the competition will be really strong and so I don’t know where we will be next year. But I know that the start is really good.”