England defender Laura Unsworth is relishing the challenge of facing Ireland and says the squad will be ‘well prepared’ for their final Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup pool match on Sunday.
Two draws in their opening two games against India and the USA means that England can no longer top the group but victory over Ireland would secure second spot.
Unsworth is expecting a tough battle with the Irish but believes the squad will be ready and has praised the home support the team have been receiving at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.
Vice-captain Unsworth said: “Obviously we have had two tight matches and defended very well creating chances which is very positive in a tournament environment. On Sunday we will aim to go out there in front of our 10,000 fans and put in a good performance for everyone to watch.
“Battles against Ireland are always tough, they are a close-knit team and I think it will be a case of us trying to break them down a bit, but I think it’ll be a tight affair and feisty in patches.
“We have been away for 24 hours with everyone going home and now we are back for the second part of the tournament, we have two training sessions and we will be prepared come Sunday.”
Another sell-out crowd of 10,000 will be there to cheer on England once again on Sunday night and Unsworth is encouraging fans to continue to make plenty of noise.
She added: “I don’t think any of us could have imagined how great the crowd as been. I think especially on Wednesday night when we had that last counter attack the crowd were electrifying we couldn’t hear each other. We really appreciate all the support please keep it going!
“It makes a massive impact. When we are on a break they just get up off their seats and when we score it just gives us goosebumps, everyone up out their seats on their feet shouting and celebrating with all of us.”