Former England international Rachel Yankey believes the Lionesses have the potential to win the Women’s World Cup this summer, as Phil Neville’s side prepare for their final warm-up match at the Amex Stadium against New Zealand this Saturday.
Yankey, who was capped 129 times for her country, was speaking at last month’s Trophy Tour event at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton and called on the people in the city to head to the stadium to support the team.
She said, “It’s fantastic for the city, and it's a special one as well because it is the last match before England head off to France. We really need everyone in Brighton to pull together and head down to the Amex and make some noise for the Lionesses because we want to send them off in the right way and hopefully we can take confidence to their talent to go on and win it.
“It will be a tough game because New Zealand are a good team. With the England squad we have now I do think that we have the talent to go on and win games that we possibly had question marks on before. They should be looking to go on and win the game to cement some confidence in the team, and go into the tournament fresh with a win under their belt.”
The former Arsenal midfielder also spoke about the need for more exposure in the women’s game to encourage supporters to watch, and also spoke about England’s chances at the tournament this summer.
“More games need the exposure, no matter where it's being played, everyone needs to understand where and when the matches are taking place and when they are televised. There needs to be more knowledge out there so young kids can see the games being played.
“But we also need to encourage both boys and girls to come and watch the game, then it's up to the players to make it exciting.
“We have the potential in the team to go on and win the trophy, and they're not afraid to say they're going there to win it. Tournament football is difficult though and the first match, England against Scotland, will be extremely difficult. We need to keep the confidence high, and also get that bit of luck.”