London: England women’s team head coach Sarina Wiegman hopes to be pitch-side for the Women’s European Championship quarter-final against Spain today, having missed the last group game following a COVID-19 positive test.
Dutchwoman Wiegman was forced to relay information via a phone line during the 5-0 hammering of Northern Ireland, but she has been on the training pitch, albeit from a safe distance.
“I’m very hopeful. But we’ll see what happens. And we do know if I can’t be there. I’ll be around in another way,” Wiegman said at a virtual news conference.
“In the last game we had a line. So I was in contact with the technical staff all the time during the game so we stay connected all the time.
“If necessary, that’s what we do tomorrow again.”
Wiegman said the threat of positive COVID-19 tests is ever-present as shown by stand-in goalkeeper Hannah Hampton being forced to isolate from the squad on Tuesday.
But she is relaxed about it, saying extra precautions were being taken.
“We’re really aware. We’re very careful. It’s very invisible. But we try to stay in our bubble and do the right things and, hopefully, we keep everyone fit and when there is a positive then we have to be creative and continue with the ones who we have,” Wiegman said.
Spain began the tournament as favourites but hosts England have now taken that role after scoring 14 unanswered goals in the group phase, including an 8-0 rout of Norway.
Spain are without Ballon D’Or winner Alexia Putellas who was ruled out of the tournament with an ACL injury and are also missing experienced forward Jennifer Hermoso but Wiegman knows they still pose a huge obstacle with their possession game.
“Of course they are missing two key players but I still think they have a very good team, and they’re very tight on the ball. Absolutely it’s going to be a top game tomorrow,” she said.
“They’ll probably have the ball a lot, but I hope we’ll have it too. I do think we’re comfortable on the ball so I’m excited about what it will look like tomorrow.” England take on Spain in Brighton, scene of their win over Norway.