Sarina Wiegman is unsure if England should be drawing too much confidence from their searing form in front of goal recently in this summer’s European Women’s Championship.
The Lionesses are on the verge of qualifying for next year’s World Cup as they beat Northern Ireland 5-0 thanks to a brace from Lauren Hemp and Georgia Stanway and a goal from Ella Toone.
England have now scored 68 times in eight Group D matches without conceding and sit top of the table, five points clear of closest challengers Austria with just two games to go.
“We really need to be clear that the opponents we face in qualifying matches, we don’t expect this level of opponents at the Euros,” said the England head coach. “It will be more difficult to score.
“Of course it gives us confidence when we score goals, but we are aware and grounded that the level is just a bit lower against most opponents in World Cup qualifying.
Wiegman, who suspects June friendlies against Belgium and the Netherlands will provide more of a litmus test for England, was mum on whether she had decided on her best XI yet ahead of Euro 2022. .
The Dutch coach has only been in the job for seven months and has been deprived of the services of injured defender Steph Houghton, who faces a race to be fit for the Euros in July after Achilles surgery.
“We don’t have to decide now, which is really good. The players (too) have to show their consistency on the pitch.
Regarding their victory in front of a bumper crowd of 15,348 at Windsor Park – a record for a women’s match in Northern Ireland, Wiegman added: “The result is excellent. I’m really happy with it.
“I think it was a very mature performance from us. I think we dominated the game throughout the 90 minutes.
“We were hoping to score a few more goals in the first half and be a bit more clinical, but four goals in the second half is very nice to see.”
The defeat ended Northern Ireland’s hopes of qualifying for the World Cup after falling six points behind Austria.
Although they could still level the points with Austria, Northern Ireland’s inferior head-to-head record has dashed their already slim hopes of a play-off place for the competition in Australia and Nova Scotia. Zeeland.
Head coach Kenny Shiels said: “I can see the growth and we’re getting closer, but they’re ranked as World Cup favourites, they haven’t conceded in this group, it just illustrates the scale of the task.”