Two-goal FA Cup hero England: The more I play well, the less I’m going to get dropped.
Beth England was delighted to grab two goals as Chelsea humbled Arsenal and knocked them out of the FA Cup - winning 3-0 at Kingsmeadow on Sunday.
Striker England, 24, said: “I had a few chances in that game. To get an early goal was more important.
In the last few games, we have gone behind. Last week, (against Man City) we pulled it back. When that second one went in for me that was the more important as it sealed the deal.
“We try not to put pressure on ourselves. We have just got to go with the game-plan. We knew we could get in behind them when we needed to and we had good chances.”
Barnsley-born England, pictured right, coolly slotted home the first while her second was a net-busting screamer. What was going through her mind for the first when Erin Cuthbert was racing clear into the Arsenal penalty box?
“I just was thinking, ‘pass me the ball, pass me the ball,’” she said.
“I knew she was going to drive in, I managed to pull away from the defender and create a bit of space, and so long as I kept the ball down and put it towards goal, I knew it was going in. I felt lucky.”
England has taken her chance of leading the strike force that includes star strikers Fran Kirby and Ramona Bachmann and cites her year-long loan spell last season at Liverpool as pivotal to her current good form.
“It helped massively going on loan to Liverpool - being able to play in that 9 position for a full season,” she said.
“It got me that game time I needed, playing against the good players in the league. I've been able to bring that back into this team. Obviously with the quality we have, you know you are going to be fed the ball, it’s then about taking the chances.
“The quality in this team is unbelievable. Who would want to turn down the opportunity to train with them week in and week out, knowing that you can improve. Emma is such a great manager - again I cannot overstate how great a player Fran Kirby is. My job is to keep pushing as hard as I can. At the minute I am starting and grateful for the starts, but I am working hard for it. The more I play well, the less I’m going to get dropped.
England sees herself as the typical English No9. “I’m more of a traditional striker, than say Fran or Ramona. They are quick and intricate players.
“I’m more a natural hold the ball up player, I can get into the air - even for a midget like me, I’m not bad in the air.
“I’m very good at reading shoulder runs, and the team knows that I’m good in the air. So even playing against the likes of Arsenal centre-back (Louise) Quinn who is six foot tall, I’m going to challenge it. They know I’ll always put my body on the line for the team, so my strengths are good in the air and I'm more of a nightmare than some of the others.”
With Chelsea looking to be back to close to their peak thanks to England's presence and goals, does she think she can book her place on the plane to France in the summer for a World Cup berth with England? England is realistic and positive.
“You look at the quality of the England squad and it’s going to be very hard to break into it,” she said.
“My hopes and dreams is to get in there. If I keep plugging away, keep performing week in and week out, playing against the best defenders, scoring against them and the goalkeepers, I’m sure the opportunity will come. In the meantime all I can do is keep my head down and score goals for the team.”
Chelsea return to WSL 1 action on Wednesday night at Kingsmeadow and England knows it will be a tough encounter.
“They are mid-table, but defensively they are difficult to break down,” she said.
“So we are going to have to work on breaking that up and moving their players around. They give us a different challenge to other teams. Others come out very attacking. It’s about building through the thirds, and picking them out and scoring the goals.”