LUCY BRONZE has admitted England expect more from this World Cup than their run to the semi-finals four years ago, and says the Lionesses are not in France just for the experience.
Phil Neville’s side have long spoken of their intent to win the trophy and have two wins out of two in Group D ahead of their clash with Japan in Nice tonight.
The match is a re-run of the 2015 semi-final in Canada, which Japan won 2-1 courtesy of Laura Bassett’s unfortunate injury-time own goal.
Bronze came to prominence in the team that reached the last four in Canada but claims at this tournament they are a different proposition altogether. The right-back said: ‘In 2015 we overachieved a little bit reaching the semi-final, although in that game we actually played really well and we could have won.
‘Coming into this World Cup we’ve got a lot more belief. That’s one of the things that’s changed.
‘We’re not here to make the numbers up. We want to win. We want to win every game. We want to get to the final and we want to beat any team that is in front of us — and we know that we can.’
Boss Neville admitted he was not fussed which route his side has to take to win the World Cup.
Winning the group tonight could eventually lead to a semi-final with hosts France or the USA. Asked if that was a scenario he would rather avoid, he said: ‘No, not really. We have got a long way to go.
‘My view is we want to win seven games in this World Cup, so it doesn’t matter which route we take.’
Neville was asked about reports each of his players would receive a £50,000 bonus for winning the World Cup and whether that amount was appropriate.
He replied: ‘We don’t comment on amounts but the players are happy.’
■ SIR ALEX FERUSON has given Scotland a message of support ahead of today’s must-win match with Argentina in Paris. Scotland can still reach the last 16 despite 2-1 defeats to England and Japan, and boss Shelley Kerr said of Ferguson’s backing: ‘It’s brilliant, a great bit of support from an absolute legend.’