Sarina Wiegman denies claims England don’t have a Plan B to cope without Keira Walsh after she suffered a serious knee injury
Sarina Wiegman denied claims she does not have a Plan B to cope without Keira Walsh after the England midfielder was forced off with an apparently serious knee injury in Friday’s victory over Denmark.
Lauren James’ superb strike was enough to give England all three points but the victory was marred by Walsh’s withdrawal with what looked like an ACL injury.
The midfielder crumpled to the floor in the 38th minute after her studs caught in the turf. Walsh was seen mouthing, ‘I’ve done my knee’ to England’s medical staff, before leaving the pitch on a stretcher.
Former Lionesses striker Ellen White said on the BBC that during last summer’s Euros they did not have a back-up plan if Walsh was unavailable.
‘Everything came through Keira, there wasn’t a Plan B,’ White said. ‘I dreaded to think of the idea of us ever losing her because she was one of our best players. Beth Mead was scoring all the goals but all of our play came through Keira. She was the key cog, everything moved through her.’
Sarina Wiegman denied claims she does not have a Plan B to cope without Keira Walsh
Walsh was carried off on a stretcher vs Denmark after suffering what looks to be an ACL injury
Wiegman brought on Manchester City midfielder Laura Coombs to replace Walsh and was irked by the idea she did not have a backup plan. ‘You’re talking about the Euros,’ said Wiegman. ‘We’re now in a World Cup. You saw the Plan B.’
Walsh will be assessed in the coming days and although Wiegman admitted her injury is worrying, she said she was proud of her team for showing fight and resilience to see out the game.
‘Of course I’m concerned because she couldn’t walk off the pitch, but we don’t know yet, so we can’t take any assumptions,’ Wiegman said. ‘Let’s just wait until we have a diagnosis.
‘She is in the dressing room with the medical staff and we will see what the situation is. We just had to find our feet. Of course it’s not nice when a player goes off the pitch that way but we also know sometimes these things happen.
‘You saw what we did, Georgia Stanway dropped back and Laura came in. Yes, of course we had to find our feet a little bit. You saw different stages. We really dominated the first half. Then Keira went out and we had to adapt to the situation.
‘In the second half, Denmark had such a direct style of play. We also showed we can fight. The team showed real resilience. We kept it to 1-0 so it was really good and I’m really proud of the team.’
Lauren James’ superb strike was enough to give England all three points on Friday
England captain Millie Bright admitted it was tough for players to regroup after Walsh’s injury
England captain Millie Bright admitted it was tough for the players to regroup after Walsh’s injury. She said: ‘I’ve not spoken to her yet. I’m sure we will all be around her and we hope for the best. It’s not nice to see anyone go off like that but as a player it’s really hard.
‘You have a split-second when you have so many things in your head and you have to adapt and make changes.
‘In tournament football you need character and mentality. It’s not going to be easy but we are prepared to keep playing, keep improving and give everything for the badge.’