CARNEY: I’VE WORK TO DO TO KEEP MY No.10 ROLE
ENGLAND’S Karen Carney is taking nothing for granted in terms of making Mark Sampson’s squad for the European Championships next summer.
That’s despite a starring role in which she grabbed a goal and an assist in Tuesday’s win over Belgium in Leuven.
Carney, 29, would be taking part in her fourth Euros if selected, having made her tournament debut in 2005 as a 17-year-old, when the competition was held in the North-West of England.
Despite being one of only four players in Tuesday’s group to feature in squads at the three previous European competitions – Alex Scott, Casey Stoney and Fara Williams being the others – Carney says there is a lot of time between now and the big kick-off in the Netherlands on July 16.
She said: “There are a lot of games and a few more months ahead, so I need to go back to Chelsea and do my best for them.
“Hopefully, my form will get me selected.
“If I play well, I can put my name in the frame for the fixture with France (announced this week for October 21 in Doncaster).
“You need to be on your toes and, if I do my best for my club, I’ll also do my best for my national team if selected.”
The Chelsea forward was instrumental in helping her team overcome Belgium and top their qualifying group ahead of the home side.
She crossed for Nikita Parris to open the scoring with a 65th-minute header, before adding a second herself with a defected right-footed effort 20 minutes later. Starting the game in a wide midfield role, Carney was moved to a central position in the second half, playing more as a No. 10 behind lone striker Parris, who had played the first half up front with Arsenal’s Dan Carter.
This was a position where she was able to influence the game more after a first half where chances were at a premium for both sides.
Her goal was the 31st of her international career, and Carney admitted that the more attacking central role was one she preferred.
She also outlined that there was work to do if she wanted to cement that position as her own.
She said: “The manager asked me to do a role in the first half, but I think in the second half the position suited me better.
“I prefer the No. 10 position, but if I want to make it my own I know I need to be a lot better. It’s still progression for me.”
England now face an anxious wait for the draw for next summer’s Euros. That will take place in Rotterdam on November 8.
Scotland, qualifying for a major tournament for the first time, will be seeded lower than England, meaning there is a chance the two could be drawn in the same group.
That would be an intriguing prospect for fans of both countries.
In addition to the friendly against France at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium in October, the FA also announced this week a fixture against hosts Holland.
That will be played on November 29 in Tilburg.
SCORER: Karen Carney seals England’s victory against Belgium