Keira Walsh hopes England can ‘get the job done’ in World Cup final for injured trio
This is the furthest the Lionesses have ever advanced in a global showpiece, with Wednesday’s 3-1 semi-final victory over co-hosts Australia assuring them of at least one place higher than the bronze medal in Canada eight years ago.
England have reached this unprecedented stage without Euro 2022-winning captain Leah Williamson, that tournament’s Golden Boot winner Beth Mead, and one of the game’s most creative attackers in Fran Kirby, all of whom were ruled out of this event with knee injuries.
“I think it is difficult for them,” said Walsh, who started every game of the Euros triumph alongside that trio.
“Obviously when you think about it, they would want nothing more than to be here. It is probably a bit bittersweet. They want us to win and we would want them to be here as well. Leah, Beth and Fran have been really supportive.
“They have messaged after every game. For us, hopefully we can get the job done on Sunday and make them proud of us. I think you are obviously a little bit nervous, but it’s a World Cup final. I think you have just got to enjoy the moment.
“Leah texted me and Georgia (Stanway) and she said ‘just enjoy it. It’s not every day you are playing in the semi-final of a World Cup.’ It will be the same on Sunday.
“When you look back to the Euros, that was probably the most excited everyone has been, the vibes were really good and positive. Hopefully we can have that on Sunday. For me, the most important thing is the girls just enjoy it and take it all in. Live in the moment, because it doesn’t happen every day.”
It is understood Williamson plans to attend the final, while Whitby’s Mead and Kirby will continue their recovery in England.
England must decide if to recall Lauren James, after her two-match ban, or stick with Ella Toone in midfield.