Interim head coach Hege Riise praised her England charges after a thumping 6-0 win over Northern Ireland kick-started her tenure in charge in the perfect fashion.
Ellen White scored a hat-trick in the behind-closed-doors clash at St George's Park, while strikes from Lucy Bronze and Rachel Daly, as well as an Ella Toone penalty, yielded a comfortable victory for the Lionesses in what was their first game in nearly a year.Â
Four players - Sandy MacIver, Ebony Salmon, Lotte Wubben-Moy and Toone - were handed their senior international debuts by Norwegian Riise, who was particularly pleased with the latter's impact on proceedings.Â
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"I think we really put on a good performance," said Riise. "We had the wind with us in the first half, and we scored goals and hardly let them out at all. We were excellent.Â
"She [Toone] had a good second half. Her passing and vision was great, and I was really pleased with the way she linked up with Georgia [Stanway], helping us to turn and run at the opposition.Â
"I hadn't seen too much of Ella before the camp, but she's really impressed me. She covered lots of space, she's always looking to play high, and she has good passing, like a combination player.Â
"And then Sandy the goalkeeper got the experience since we had three young goalkeepers with us. Ebony came in as well and you could see how well she adapts to situations. Overall, I was really pleased."
England have had a limited amount of time in training during this latest camp, but the new coach has already made her mark on the team with tactical changes, playing a higher press than usual.Â
"We had moments in the first half when they were hard to break down, but we even found the small pockets in between defence and midfield," Riise said.Â
"The players did what we wanted them to do, and we were probably more successful in the second half than the first half. But it's good for us to have that going forwards so we can organise and look at the game again."Â
White's three goals means she is now only seven away from equalling Kelly Smith's record 46 England strikes. White had to wait nearly a year to pick up her 93rd cap and she was extremely happy to be back playing international fixtures.Â
"I was just saying to some of the girls how I was just running around with a massive smile on my face," she said.Â
"It's been a long time coming so to play for England, to get my first hat-trick, Jill [Scott] to get 150 caps, four debuts - that's pretty decent for an England game and obviously to get the win and the clean sheet was brilliant, as well."Â
Jill Scott made her 150th appearance for the Lionesses in the game, becoming only the second player to achieve that feat, after Fara Williams.Â
White, who has also played with Scott at Manchester City, spoke about how proud she is of the 34-year-old's achievements.Â
White added: "She really doesn't like us talking about her, but she deserves it. Her career has been phenomenal, and I'm really proud to have been a little bit of a part of her journey.Â
"There's definitely more to come and I hope everyone sees how much passion and desire she has for the game and how much she gives for England. She's a true advocate for England and I'm really, really proud of her."Â
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