England are trying “desperately hard” to improve their attacking play, according to left winger Lauren Hemp.

The 22-year-old was one of England’s best attacking outlets during their opening World Cup game, a 1-0 win over Haiti on Saturday.

However, Hemp was also guilty of missing a good headed chance as England stretched their run without a goal from open play to 337 minutes.

Asked about her own form, Hemp replied: “I think obviously towards the end of the season I felt like I was picking up form again. I think it’s important that I’m working hard every day to try and be better, but obviously I’m one of the forward players, who all really want to score.

“We’re trying desperately hard to get those connections, and so hopefully it’ll come in the next game.”

There has been a large amount of flux in the squad since last summer’s European Championships win. In attack, Ellen White’s retirement and Fran Kirby’s injury has meant Alessia Russo and Ella Toone are now starting at their first major tournament, having been utilised as impact substitutes at Euro 2022. Both are enduring ruts of goalscoring form.

Lauren James is pushing for a starting berth ahead of the match against Denmark in Sydney on Friday. The 21-year-old Chelsea forward, who is the reigning WSL Young Player of the Year, impressed after replacing Hemp on 61 minutes against Haiti, and could also start at No 10 in place of Toone.

Asked about the selection pressure James was putting on Sarina Wiegman, Hemp replied: “I think there’s fantastic competition, especially in the forward areas. I mean, as a team we’ve got such massive depth as a squad. Obviously anyone can come in and change a game, so it’s important that as players we’re all pushing each other to be at the best of our ability.

“Obviously anything can happen so we’ll just see how it goes. But I think we all want each other to do well, so it’s all about pushing each other.”



England’s week of disputes ends in a debate: Is Russo their best bet up front?

(Photo: Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images)

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