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England women can win Euro 2017

Toni Duggan

Toni Duggan made her England debut in a European Championship qualifier against Croatia in September 2012

England Women can cope with the pressure on them and win Euro 2017, says striker Toni Duggan.

Mark Sampson’s side finished top of their qualification group unbeaten and begin their preparations for the event in the Netherlands with a friendly against France in Doncaster on Friday.

“There’s no reason we can’t go all the way,” said Duggan, 25.

“We have players right across the board who have experience and can go toe to toe with the top nations.”

The Manchester City forward added: “I don’t want to start putting pressure on ourselves, but as players those are the pressures we are facing, and that’s our answer – we do believe we can go all the way.”

England have not beaten France since 1974. The teams drew 2-2 in Paris in 2012 and met again at the 2015 World Cup, when England lost 1-0 during the group stage.

Reflecting on the 2012 game, Duggan said: “There was a lot of talk then about how we hadn’t beaten France for however many years, and it’d be nice to be on the winning side this time.

“We know it’s going to be tough, they’ve got quality players, but the English game is going forward now and I believe we can compete with the best nations around.”

Duggan is one of eight players from Women’s Super League champions Manchester City named in the squad.

She was left out for the Euro 2017 qualifiers against Serbia, Estonia and Belgium.

Chelsea forward Eniola Aluko, who is the top English goalscorer in Super League 1 this season, has again been overlooked.

Defender Gilly Flaherty has withdrawn from the squad with a hamstring injury.

England squad:

Goalkeepers: Karen Bardsley (Manchester City), Siobhan Chamberlain (Liverpool), Rebecca Spencer (Chelsea),

Defenders: Laura Bassett (Notts County), Lucy Bronze (Manchester City), Steph Houghton (Manchester City), Alex Scott (Arsenal), Demi Stokes (Manchester City), Casey Stoney (Arsenal),

Midfielders: Millie Bright (Chelsea), Isobel Christiansen (Manchester City), Jade Moore (Notts County), Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal), Jo Potter (Notts County), Jill Scott (Manchester City), Fara Williams (Arsenal).

Forwards: Karen Carney (Chelsea), Danielle Carter (Arsenal), Rachel Daly (Houston Dash), Gemma Davison (Chelsea), Toni Duggan (Manchester City), Nikita Parris (Manchester City).

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37688602