England captain Millie Bright says her squad have shown they are “not just programmed to play football” by taking a stand on the issue of performance-related bonuses and commercial deals.

Bright and the England squad took the unprecedented step of going public with their “disappointment” at the absence of a deal with the Football Association that would provide bonuses to players in addition to Fifa’s tournament-wide bonuses.

Captaining the side at this tournament in the absence of long-term injury absentee Leah Williamson, Bright has spoken for the first time since she and her team-mates released a joint statement criticising the FA.

The Chelsea centre-back was asked how frustrated the players had been that their dispute with the FA had not been resolved before the tournament and said: “It’s not a situation everyone wants to be in but as players we’re not just programmed to play football, sometimes we have to have these conversations.

“But we have a very professional group and football is always at the front of everything. I’m aware that everyone has seen the statement so, as players now, our heads are on the game and they always have been on the game. But with respect, everything is on hold with those sorts of questions. And we’ll address this situation at a later date but for now it’s all about the tournament.”

Bright had been a doubt for the game since picking up a knee injury in March but on Friday head coach Sarina Wiegman confirmed that the captain was “absolutely” fit to start the game in Brisbane on Saturday. Wiegman added that all of her squad of 23 players were fully fit and ready, and said she has decided on her starting XI, although she kept her cards close to her chest.

England go into the competition without star names including Williamson, Euros Golden Boot winner Beth Mead and Chelsea star Fran Kirby, but Bright added: “Unfortunately injuries are part of football and we have to look forward and move forward, and I think we’ve got an amazing group of players and staff and everyone has stepped up. We’re raring to go.”

Predicted XI: Earps; Bronze, Bright, Carter, Greenwood; Stanway, Walsh; James, Toone, Hemp; Daly