TAYLOR WANTS A GOAL AS LIONESSES AWAIT A RAPTUROUS HOMECOMING
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.”