SHE BELIEVES CUP 2017: Jordan Nobbs pre France

We spoke to vice-skip, Arsenal midfielder Jordan Nobbs ahead of the opening #SheBelieves Cup game against France…

England trained at Lincoln Financial Field yesterday, ahead of their opener v France today in Philadelphia, at the She Believes Cup. USA will face Germany in the second of the double header at Philadelphia Union’s Talen Energy Stadium. There’s a concern that stormy weather may affect both matches but the players are fully focussed on getting performances and results, as a confident and determined sounding vice-captain Jordan Nobbs explained, when we spoke to her at the end of their session:

Jordan Nobbs on her thoughts on the She Believes tournament:

Yeah, I’m excited. A year down the line from last year, I think it’s only going to be better games and better performances and I think we’ve learned a lot over the last year and playing top teams like this – I think we’re ready to go again, and get some wins this time.

On the importance of getting results with the Euros looming:

I think it’s always going to be an important thing for everyone’s mentality. Naturally, if you’re beating teams now then you’re going to knock a bit of confidence out of them. We obviously want to come out and win all three games, but I think in the long run we’ll still take them step by step, and we’ll still learn a lot from these games – especially playing France and Germany before the Euros, I think that’s a big plus side for us, to play them now and get out maybe some good and bad points and go from there.

On the arrival of a few American star players in the WSL, and how it may help the league:

Yeah, we were talking before about how when I was younger, everyone was saying you need to go to America to play football, whereas now, we’ve got Carli Lloyd and Heather O’Reilly coming over to our league to play, so I think it just shows the growth in the women’s game has been so dramatic, and it’s only going to make us better on the pitch when we have them – not only in our team – but playing against them. So, I think it’s a great plus side for women’s football. The more us [sic] as players can encourage girls from a young age to play and have a career in it [football] the better.

On having Heather O’Reilly in the Arsenal squad alongside her and if the experience she has has makes a difference:

Yeah. I think with the amount of things she’s won it’s incredible. Even when she trialled with us a little while back, I was saying to Pedro, “We need to get her in our team,” and I think she just offered a different side to football. She’s energetic, she’s fit, she’s confidently positive, no matter what’s going on and even when you’re having a tough day she’s like, “yeah, but this is what it takes”, so sometimes it’s just those little points that bring your whole team together. She’s been a great addition to our team, so hopefully she’ll help us in the league as well.

On how she herself had a great tournament in the She Believes Cup last year, and looking to take it up another level, personally, this time around:

Yeah, I hope so. I think [in] the big games, I like to play under pressure. As a kid, playing in finals, FA Cup finals, league [games], I think I always want to be a part of those big games and show that I can compete with these players, so I’m excited, again, to play against them and I want to be winning every individual battle out there, and hopefully I can do that again this year. I kind of man-marked Carli Lloyd last year, for example, so hopefully there’s times in the games this year, where I can take my edge on the top players in the world.

Reaction to She Kicks saying we didn’t know she had a pocket that big in her shorts that she could put Carli in:

[Laughs] Don’t get me wrong, she was very hard to play against but I think it definitely improved me as a player and made me realise how structured you’ve got to be against someone with movement like that.

On playing against France tomorrow, and if they are a different prospect without playmaker [Louisa] Nécib, who recently retired, in there? Are they a bit more predictable:

I think she was always one of those players, that people would say, “you’ve got to watch out for Nécib”. I think her feet, and the way she plays – very forward-playing and could shoot long-distance – I think she’s a talent that they’re going to miss, but I think that is a plus for us. To be honest, we’ve not been a team that have looked to isolate their players and say we need to watch out particularly for ‘this’. I think, as a team we just need to focus on what we do ourselves, and I think if we do that, then we’ll win the game.

On whether they expect different tactics from France, under their relatively new coach: 

No. I think France have had a very confident and structured way of playing for a very long time and they’ve done well with it. I think that’s why they’ve stuck to that. I think we do know what they’re going to do but I think it just determines on what we are going to present back to them to combat that. They have had a lot of one-nil games over a long period of time so I think it shows that a result is not far off if you get a goal against them.

On how important winning a tournament like this would be:

In the long run it’s always going to be something I think we’d look back on – if we have won the She Believes Cup – we’d always remember that time we beat, or came out on top of, the top players and top teams in the world. So I think as a mental side of things, and in our belief as a squad, us doing that on this trip will be a massive plus for us. Also we want to keep pushing behind these teams and saying ,“we’re not only knocking on your door, but we’re pushing past you now”. We want to take strides ahead of those teams and say “If you want to play against us then you’re going to have to change the way you play or do something different next time”.

Below are a list of the three England fixtures that FATV will be streaming on their channel, including date and time of kick-off.

The links will go live an hour before kick-off.

England v France: Wednesday 1 March (9pm GMT KO)

England v USA: Saturday 4 March (10pm GMT KO)

England v Germany: Tuesday 7 March (9pm GMT KO)

(All games are only viewable in the UK)

Then next month, you can watch the Lionesses play in person against Italy at Port Vale FC on Friday 7 April and Austria at MK Dons FC on Monday 10 April.

Tickets for both games are on sale now priced £7.50 adults and £3.50 children for each game. A family ticket (two adults and two children) is available at £15 and group booking and Charter Standard discounts apply.

Tickets for both games can be bought via www.TheFA.com/Tickets.

Tickets for England v Italy are also available via 01782 655821, for England v Austria by calling 0333 200 5343 and in person at each club’s box office.