TAY­LOR WANTS A GOAL AS LIONESSES AWAIT A RAP­TUR­OUS HOME­COM­ING

The Football League Paper - - WOMEN'S FOOTBALL WEEKLY - By Tony Leighton

GLOBE-TROT­TING striker Jodie Tay­lor can’t wait to step out on home soil as Eng­land en­ter­tain Bos­nia & Herze­gov­ina at Bris­tol City’s Ashton Gate to­day. The Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships qual­i­fier is Eng­land's first home game since win­ning bronze at the sum­mer's World Cup fi­nals in Canada.

Three days af­ter a morale-boost­ing goal­less away draw with Euro cham­pi­ons Ger­many, ranked sec­ond in the world and the na­tion that Mark Sampson's team beat to earn third place at the World Cup, Tay­lor will be look­ing for goals against op­po­nents who sit 67 places be­low Eng­land at 72nd in the FIFA rank­ings.

“I’m so look­ing for­ward to play­ing in front of our home fans again."

said Tay­lor, who is cur­rently based in the US with Port­land Thorns but has also played for clubs in Canada, Swe­den and Aus­tralia, as well as for Birm­ing­ham City.

“It’s a shame we’ve had to wait so long for a home game af­ter the World Cup,” added the 29-year-old Merseysider, “but I’m sure the fans will make it a great home-com­ing for us and we’ll be aim­ing to give them plenty to cheer.

“We’ll be big favourites to win the game and we’ll be ex­pected to get a few goals as well, es­pe­cially af­ter the 8-0 win against Es­to­nia in our first Euro qual­i­fier.

“Hope­fully, I can get my name on the score­sheet, but the most im­por­tant thing for the whole team is to put on a pro­fes­sional per­for­mance to get the right re­sult.

“Rais­ing your game to com­pete with the best teams in the world – which is what we did with a tremen­dous dis­play in Ger­many on Thurs­day – is one thing.

“But you can come a crop­per against lesser teams if you don’t go in with the right mind-set, so it’s about stay­ing fo­cused and tak­ing care of busi­ness.”

While Eng­land have played just one Euro 2017 qual­i­fier to date, Bos­nia have played four, beat­ing Es­to­nia 4-0 and Ser­bia 1-0 but los­ing 6-0 and 5-0 in their games against cur­rent group lead­ers Bel­gium.

To­day’s match gives Tay­lor, a late­comer to in­ter­na­tional foot­ball, hav­ing made her Eng­land de­but only 15 months ago, the chance to keep making up for lost time.

She has hit five goals in the 15 games she has so far played un­der Sampson. “I never got a game when Hope Pow­ell was in charge,” Tay­lor,

inset right, said.“It wasn’t un­til Mark came in that I thought I’d maybe get an op­por­tu­nity.

“For­tu­nately, I not only got my chance but also got to play in the World Cup, the big­gest thing I’ve ever achieved in foot­ball.”

“I went into the tour­na­ment in­jured and wasn’t able to play in the early matches, but then I got good game time and it was a huge con­fi­dence boost for me.

“Now I really feel part of the team and, hope­fully, I can help us get to the Euro fi­nals and do our­selves proud there.

“Af­ter win­ning a World Cup bronze we want to be crowned cham­pi­ons of Europe – and I be­lieve we’re good enough to achieve that.”

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