Beth Mead convinced performances matter more than results right now for England

Whitby-born Beth Mead believes England’s preparations for the summer’s World Cup remain unharmed by last week’s defeat to Canada.

England's Beth Mead: Happy with progress. Picture: Getty Images

A 1-0 reverse to the former World Cup semi-finalists on Friday night was a jolt in the otherwise serene progress Phil Neville’s Lionesses have enjoyed in the build-up to this year’s tournament in France.

The highlight of that was victory in the four-team SheBelieves Cup in the United States last month amid a rise to third in the world rankings, and with Spain next in the second game of their ‘Road to France Series’, there is still plenty of time to iron out any kinks.

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For 23-year-old Arsenal forward Mead, the key to gauging progress ahead of the World Cup in June is in performances, rather than results.

“I think we’re at a good point right now, we’re doing really well,” said Mead, who scored twice in three games in the SheBelieves Cup.

“We’ve got good chemistry on and off the field. I don’t think the score on Friday night was a reflection on the performance by any means. I thought we were really good, I thought the game of football was a really good game.

“We were unlucky to concede the goal but we’ve got to put the ball in to the back of the net first. Overall, it was a good team performance.”

Despite that, they were beaten by an 81st-minute goal from Canadian stalwart Christine Sinclair.

“What we can take from that is that you can’t shut off,” said Mead.

“They got a goal at an awkward time but you’ve got to fight until the end and keep going and try to get one back.”

England Women captain Steph Houghton has withdrawn from the squad ahead of tonight’s friendly against Spain at Swindon’s County Ground due to a groin issue. The FA said the defender felt “mild groin pain” following the loss to Canada and had returned to her club Manchester City, with the decision having been made to “rest her in order to manage her load” ahead of this summer’s World Cup.

Houghton is the second player to have pulled out of the squad boss Phil Neville named for the Canada and Spain fixtures, with Fran Kirby having done so early last week because of a knee problem.