Goalkeeper Mary Earps insists she has “no doubt” that the country is behind England, despite admitting that the Lionesses have not been exposed to much of the fervour surrounding their progress at Euro 2022.
Ahead of their concluding Group A fixture against Northern Ireland in Southampton on Friday, Sarina Wiegman’s side have already qualified for the quarter-finals after pulling off the competition’s biggest win with their historic 8-0 thrashing of Norway on Monday.
Northern Ireland, meanwhile, are out of their first major tournament after successive 4-1 and 2-0 defeats by Norway and Austria respectively, but still have pride to play for, manager Kenny Shiels has insisted.
Lionesses stopper Earps is yet to concede a goal at this summer’s finals, but is not getting carried away by early results, knowing there are tougher tests to come if England are to deliver European glory come the end of July.
“Knowing English people I have absolutely no doubt that the country is behind us,” Earps said.
“It’s not something that us as players have really engaged with too much because, to be honest, we’re so focused in our bubble that it’s not something we’re hearing and feeling too much – apart from when we come into the stadium and hear the roars from the crowd, which has obviously been fantastic.
“To be honest, for the first time we’ve really witnessed that in terms of…playing major tournaments away from home you don’t realise how much that can be so much fun and drive you forwards.
“You feel a real responsibility because you want to do that – not only for your team-mates but for the people coming to watch of course. But it’s not something that we’re engaging with too much. I have no doubt that everyone at home is doing and we want to do the nation proud as best as we possibly can, and the way that we’re going to do that is performing to a high level and the standards that we’ve set in every game.”
Against Northern Ireland, manager Wiegman has said she will focus on consistency rather than rotation as she seeks to maintain her side’s high standards, despite already being assured of progressing to the next stage of the competition.
“That game [against Norway] will go down in history and deservedly so, but we know that those sorts of games don’t come around very often,” Earps added. “That’s what makes it so special because we can enjoy it, but also that we know there is plenty of work to do and we can make improvements.
“We want to go as far as we can in the tournament. We’re staying focused. We enjoyed it after the game, but come midnight, it’s the next day and onto something else.
“We want to do the nation proud as best we can and the way we do that is performing to high level and setting the standards in every game.”
Keep up with all the latest from Euro 2022 across Sky Sports and Sky Sports News this summer.
Coverage will be anchored by Sky Sports WSL presenter Caroline Barker, alongside Jessica Creighton and Kyle Walker. Meanwhile, Karen Carney, Sue Smith, Courtney Sweetman-Kirk and Laura Bassett will give analysis throughout the tournament.
They will also be joined by experienced England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and Manchester City defender Esme Morgan.
The pundits and presenters will work from the Sky Sports Women’s Euro 2022 Mobile Presentation Bus, which will follow the Sky Sports News team around the country to the various stadiums where matches are being played.
In addition, Sky Sports’ Essential Football Podcast will be rebranded for the tournament to Sky Sports Women’s Euros Podcast from 21 June. Hosted by Charlotte Marsh and Anton Toloui, it will feature exclusive news and player interviews in addition to a strong programme line-up around the tournament.
Group A: England, Austria, Norway, Northern Ireland
Group B: Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland
Group C: Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal, Switzerland
Group D: France, Italy, Belgium, Iceland
Wednesday July 6
Group A: England 1-0 Austria
Thursday July 7
Group A: Norway 4-1 Northern Ireland
Friday July 8
Group B: Spain 4-1 Finland
Group B: Germany 4-0 Denmark
Saturday July 9
Group C: Portugal 2-2 Switzerland
Group C: Netherlands 1-1 Sweden
Sunday July 10
Group D: Belgium 1-1 Iceland
Group D: France 5-1 Italy
Monday July 11
Group A: Austria 2-0 Northern Ireland
Tuesday July 12
Group B: Denmark 1-0 Finland
Group B: Germany 2-0 Spain
Wednesday July 13
Group C: Sweden 2-1 Switzerland
Group C: Netherlands 3-2 Portugal
Thursday July 14
Group D: Italy 1-1 Iceland
Group D: France vs Belgium – kick-off 8pm, New York Stadium
Friday July 15
Group A: Northern Ireland v England – kick-off 8pm, St Mary’s
Group A: Austria vs Norway – kick-off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium
Saturday July 16
Group B: Finland vs Germany – kick-off 8pm, Stadium MK
Group B: Denmark vs Spain – kick-off 8pm, London Community Stadium
Sunday July 17
Group C: Switzerland vs Netherlands – kick-off 5pm, Bramall Lane
Group C: Sweden vs Portugal – kick-off 5pm, Leigh Sports Village
Monday July 18
Group D: Iceland vs France – kick-off 8pm, New York Stadium
Group D: Italy vs Belgium – kick-off 8pm, Manchester City Academy Stadium
Wednesday July 20
Quarter-final 1: Winners Group A v Runners-up Group B – kick-off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium
Thursday July 21
Quarter-final 2: Winners Group B v Runners-up Group A – kick-off 8pm, London Community Stadium
Friday July 22
Quarter-final 3: Winners Group C v Runners-up Group D – kick-off 8pm, Leigh Sports Village
Quarter-final 4: Winners Group D v Runners-up Group C – kick-off 8pm, New York Stadium
Tuesday July 26
Semi-final 1: Winners quarter-final 1 v Winners quarter-final 3 – kick-off 8pm, Bramall Lane
Wednesday July 27
Semi-final 2: Winners quarter-final 2 v Winners quarter-final 4 – kick-off 8pm, Stadium MK
Sunday July 31
Winners semi-final 1 v Winners semi-final 2 – kick-off 5pm, Wembley