·9 February 2023
·9 February 2023
January recruit Bethany England has hit the ground running at Tottenham but is hoping a first Women’s Super League victory with her new club will arrive on Sunday against Manchester United.
Spurs take on the title challengers at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with this fixture rearranged from September 10 when all matches were called off following the death of the Queen.
A couple of weeks before that postponement England had started for Chelsea in a pre-season clash against Tottenham, but fast forward to the present day and the forward has already started as many WSL games for her new club – two – as she did for the champions during the first half of the campaign.
Goals have followed with three in her opening four appearances for Spurs but Rehanne Skinner’s side have not tasted league success since October 30 and have lost their last five in the division.
It has heightened relegation fears, which is not the plan for a club with lofty ambitions and their big winter signing is eager to get them back on track on her Tottenham Hotspur Stadium debut.
England told the PA news agency: “Do you know what, this club is big and it is going to get even bigger.
“There are still building blocks and foundations to get in, so there is going to be a lot to come from this team and I am happy to be a part of this journey.
“I am glad they put their trust in me to bring me here and to hopefully do the job they were missing. The club has been great and I am really looking forward to playing at the stadium.
“Hopefully it will be as big a crowd as possible. It’s a big game and hopefully we get the job done.”
Spurs’ return to the club’s 62,850-seater venue is overdue given September’s late postponement but Skinner will take her team to the ground boosted by the fact they won their two fixtures there in the 2021-22 campaign.
Last season’s impressive fifth-place finish has not been built on with Tottenham taking time to adapt to new home stadium Brisbane Road while a string of anterior cruciate ligament injuries to key personnel during the past 12 months has disrupted their progress.
Recent displays have hinted an upturn in fortunes is around the corner with a particularly strong showing in last weekend’s 3-2 defeat to Chelsea.
“We are definitely getting there as we’ve shown in performances,” England insisted.
“We are starting to get more goals and show more fight but we need to be better at not conceding sloppy goals. I think the more game-time we get, the more it is starting to gel.”
Goals had been hard to come by for Spurs this season but England’s poachers’ effort against Chelsea, after a similar finish on debut at Aston Villa, was a step in the right direction.
Tottenham’s lack of attacking threat, coupled with England’s limited minutes at Chelsea, meant the January transfer for a record fee between WSL clubs made sense for all parties.
In the back of the mind of the 29-year-old was also international honours, with the World Cup on the horizon in July and England manager Sarina Wiegman leaving the 21-capped striker out of her October and November camps, months after she was involved in the summer Euros success.
Speaking before she was left out of this week’s squad, England said: “First and foremost I just wanted to get back on the grass.
“I wanted to get playing and get my performances in for my club. Obviously in the back of my mind is the World Cup and (impressing) Sarina.
“Having missed the last few camps, I wanted to be in a position where I am proving I should be picked. If I am not, that is Sarina’s job but all I can do is my best week in, week out on the pitch.”
“The club’s been amazing and the girls have been so great so I couldn’t have asked for a better welcome,” she said.
“For me I am happy I am playing and ideally scoring. I just want to keep doing the best job I can.”
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