England can win World Cup despite injury problems – Jill Scott
Euro 2022 winner Jill Scott believes England can overcome the absence of key players to claim World Cup glory this summer.
Manager Sarina Wiegman’s preparations for the tournament in Australia and New Zealand, which begins in July, have been hampered by the loss of some star names to injury.
The European champions will be without captain Leah Williamson and midfielder Fran Kirby due to long-term knee problems while another casualty, forward Beth Mead, is rated highly doubtful having been sidelined since November.
With two more experienced campaigners in Scott herself and Ellen White having retired since last year’s European success at Wembley, there could be a very different feel to the Lionesses squad.
Scott told the PA news agency: “Obviously we’ve had a few injuries. You can’t shy away from the fact that we’re going be missing the captain, a fantastic player.
“Her game has reached new heights and she’s going be a really big miss, but it’s an opportunity that presents itself to the younger players. I still think we’ve got a great squad.
“You’ve had players like Lauren James step in and she looks like she’s played for England for years.
“Being led by Sarina, I still fully believe that we can go out there and win the World Cup.
“What she is really good at is focusing on you and the team – focusing on your performance and the team’s performance.
“It’s like (you think) the only person that can beat us today is ourselves. I’m sure that will be the same mindset going into this tournament.”
Scott was speaking at the launch of ‘The Greater Game’, a new programme by the Football Association to encourage better health and wellbeing among 12-16 year-olds.
The initiative aims to harness the power of football to inspire young people and their families to make at least one healthier action each week.
Delivered in the form of workshops and with the help of grassroots clubs, it focuses on the four key areas of moving well, eating well, sleeping well and thinking well.
The scheme is being piloted in five areas before being rolled out nationally next year.
Scott, an ambassador for the programme, said: “This is about getting young people more physically active and looking after the their mental wellbeing as well, using the power of football. I’m a really big believer in it.”
Scott is pleased to be able to use her profile for the benefit of others.
“I’ve always tried to be a role model,” she said. “I had David Beckham as as my role model growing up and I thought he always had time for people.
“To think you might have young girls, young boys, looking up at you when you’re playing in the Euros – I do take that role very seriously.
“The next generation is our future, so prevention is better than cure. I always say that, and if we’re going make them feel better now, then it’s only going to benefit society in the future.”