Ella Toone has no doubt that England have “a goal in their back” after their success at the European Championships in the summer.
On July 31, the Lionesses beat eight-time winners Germany at Wembley Stadium in the final of the Euro for the first time in major tournament glory.
On their first outing since, Sarina Wiegman’s side secured qualification for next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand with a 2-0 win over Austria in Wiener Neustadt on Saturday.
It also confirmed that, after completing their group games on Tuesday at Stoke, England will play Luxembourg in their next game at Wembley on October 7 in a friendly against the current world champions, the United States.
When asked about that sold-out game, Toone said: “It’s going to be fantastic. We know how good USA are and we want to play against the best teams.
“I think now we have a goal on our back because we won the Euros. So these games are really exciting and we can’t wait to have all the fans in the stadium again.”
Toone has described England – who have been in near-perfect form under Wiegman, going 21 games unbeaten from 19 wins – as “a different level” against the Americans.
The 23-year-old Manchester United forward added: “It’s always a tough game when we’ve played them before.
“But it’s exciting and obviously back at Wembley, our favorite venue – I can’t wait and have all the fans back at the stadium to support them.
“I think it will just help us prepare for the World Cup and those are the games we want to get into, we want to compete against the best teams. We are looking forward to it.”
Toone has been trying to adjust to the increased attention that has resulted from England’s triumphant EURO campaign, which included their impressive opener as they beat Germany 2-1 after extra time in the final.
And she said: “More people now recognize you walking down the street, which was crazy but also amazing. We knew it would have an impact, (but) I don’t think we knew how much of an impact it would have. This summer was very different from the previous ones!”
Toone also laughed as she commented over shouts of ‘Tooney’ from the crowd, which sounded like boos: “I’m used to it now, I know the fans are on my side and not booing me!”
In Saturday’s game, Wiegman, who had an unchanged starting XI throughout the Euros, made three changes including Toone replacing the injured Fran Kirby.
Another was Toone’s United team-mate Alessia Russo, who came on for the eliminated Ellen White and gave England the lead with a seventh-minute finish. Substitute Nikita Parris – a summer signing for United – then struck with around 20 minutes to go to wrap things up.
The third substitute was Alex Greenwood, who took over at left-back when Rachel Daly fell on the bench.
Greenwood made five appearances during Euros and then started two Champions League qualifiers for Manchester City on 18 and 21 August.
The 28-year-old said: “There wasn’t (a lot of free time) at all. I think the City girls had maybe five or six days off, then it was straight back to business.
“You can look both ways. It’s about getting back on track and getting right back to it and then managing yourself and being sane. To be honest it just feels like we just moved on. It’s okay, it is what is, it’s football.
“(Managing things) is vital, it’s so important. Everything you do off the pitch is so, so important at this stage and that goes for everyone too.
“This is just the beginning – we haven’t even started the (domestic) season, believe it or not!
“This part is so important and the older you get the more you have to do it. I wouldn’t have thought of that a few years ago, but it’s catching up with you.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/ella-toone-england-wembley-austria-australia-b2159668.html England have one target behind them after their Euro 2022 triumph – Ella Toone