December 5, 2023
Starting: 20:00 GMT place: Old Trafford, coverage: BBC One from 19:00 GMT, BBC Radio 5 live commentary and live text coverage on BBC Sport

England manager Sarina Weigman said her team is “ready to go” as they prepare to open the Women’s European Championship against Austria in front of a losing crowd at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Lionesses compete to win their first major championship.

Since Wigman’s arrival in September, England have gone 14 games unbeaten and won their last six.

“You can feel that everyone is ready so we’re excited to go,” Wegman said.

“We started our preparations in September and just worked week to week.”

The Dutch coach said it was “really great” to be swarmed into a packed media conference room at Old Trafford, where the squad will train for the last time on Tuesday night.

She said excitement levels had risen in the past 24 hours, but she was confident the players could manage their emotions ahead of the opening match of Euro 2022.

“We’ll feel the pitch and then start tomorrow and I can’t wait,” she added.

“We will do the same things we always do and focus on our style of play as a team and as individuals. We also know the tournament starts tomorrow and we have been waiting for such a long time so it is an exciting moment.

“It would be weird if we weren’t excited.”

“We are not robots – there will be nerves”

Captain Leah Williamson said it would be a “very proud moment” for her to lead the team against Austria and the team “embraces the pressure”.

England, ranked eighth in the world, are favorites to win the tournament and Williamson will hope they can make the most of their land advantage.

“I’m sure tomorrow when I look back will be a moment I will remember forever,” Williamson said.

“I think the only thing that can be on the pitch is sitting with him [friends and family]. I think they’ll be really excited. It is a very proud moment and I will try to enjoy it as much as I can.

“Obviously good luck messages are pouring in now. It’s cute. It just happened to them. I’m sure they’re going to have a lot of fun.”

“We’ve been up and running over the past few weeks and ticked the boxes we need. We know what it is and what to expect. We’re ready for it.”

“Everyone has their own things to deal with. Stress is a privilege and we embrace it. It comes with the job but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it at the same time.”

While Williamson is confident England can handle the high expectations, she admitted there will be some tension.

“The team is in a great place. The last training session will bring everything together now but I think we are all ready for that.”

“We’re not robots. There will be nerves. We’re aware of expectations. Inside camp it’s about excitement and enjoying it. This is my job. If I’m not ready for tomorrow and not excited about it tomorrow why am I doing it.”

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