ENGLAND ladies will have to show all the discipline – as well as skill – they have in the locker to prevent the Spaniards from pulling out all the tricks in the book.
Lionesses’ boss Mark Sampson is perfectly well aware of the fact that Spain are a talented side capable of beating anyone on their day.
Sampson uses the words ‘dark arts’ to describe the Spanish tactics. Namely, they will stop at nothing to get the result what want.
Feigning injury, trying to get opponents booked or sent off, is one of their traits – as well as getting around the referee to influence his decision.
Sampson has made his players well aware of what, and who, they are facing and is confident they can continue their impressive progress at Euro 2017.
An emphatic opening victory against Scotland has done wonders for confidence – and Sampson believes there is even more to come from his golden girls.
Both England and Spain won their opening matches, and could qualify for the quarter-finals with a victory in Breda.
Ahead of their latest clash in the Netherlands, Sampson pulled no punches in his assessment of England’s latest opponents – saying Spain are a side that are ‘difficult to fall in love with’.
Spain have been tipped to do well, like England who are expected to go all the way, and the head coach says of their opponents: “No-one would argue their possession-based football is pleasing on the eye.”
But, as quoted on the BBC Sport website – http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/40694641 – he added: “The reason why a lot of people find it difficult to fall in love with them is because they’ve got the other bit as well; the ill-discipline, the feigning injury, getting around the referee.
“So we are ready for the possession game and the dark arts, which are not the nicest part, but we have to manage that.”