England forward Toni Duggan has insisted that England can win the World Cup this summer, following their SheBelieves Cup success this week.
The Three Lions won the tournament at the start of the week, beating Japan and Brazil and drawing with hosts USA to secure top spot. It was the first time they won the tournament, as they began their 2019 in style.
In an interview with The Guardian, Duggan spoke about the Lionesses' SheBelieves Cup triumph, as well as her aspirations for the summer, saying: “We want a major honour, and we’re good enough to win one so it is just the start.
“I think we’ve always had it but the proof is in the pudding and what better way to go into the World Cup than knowing you’ve come from behind against two of the top nations in the world [Brazil and USA]?”
Duggan has been playing for the national side for seven years, having worked her way up from the Under-17s. She has 68 caps for the national side, scoring 22 goals since making her senior debut in 2012.
The 27-year-old is one of a handful of national team players who play abroad, having joined Barcelona from Manchester City in 2017. She has flourished in Spain, and has encouraged young players to try their luck outside of England.
Duggan said: “It’s been an unbelievable experience, I’ve loved every minute of it and I’d recommend it to youth coming through because, like I said, it takes you out of your comfort zone: you learn a new language, a new style of play.”
She was also full of praise for manager Phil Neville, whose SheBelieves Cup victory was his first managerial honour since taking over as the national team manager at the start of 2018.
Speaking about her manager, Duggan said: “He’s been amazing, he’s instilled that winning mentality. He’s put so much trust in so many players; from one to 24 we’ve all played our part in this tournament and to have a manager that’s so confident in every single individual is rare.”
England have a month before they are back in action, as they begin preparations for this summer’s World Cup in France. They will play two home friendlies in April, hosting Canada and Spain in Manchester and Swindon respectively.