Sampson needs ‘time to reflect on loss’

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Sampson non-committal on future as England boss

England head coach Mark Sampson said he needed “time to reflect” on his future after his team lost to the Netherlands in the Women’s Euro 2017 semi-finals.

The Lionesses were the favourites once holders Germany went out, and Sampson, 34, admitted they “came up short”.

The Welshman will now spend time with his family before deciding what to do.

“At the moment there’s probably doubt in everyone’s mind about what they are going to do next,” said Sampson, who has two years left on his contract.

England came through the group stage with a 100% record, before beating France 1-0 in the quarter-finals.

But they were beaten 3-0 by the tournament hosts, who will meet Denmark in Sunday’s final.

Highlights: Netherlands end England’s Euro dream

Sampson says semi-final defeat is “tough to take”.

He told BBC Sport: “The players and the staff have given their all over the last 12 months to try and win this tournament but it wasn’t enough.

“When you don’t get over the line, you are going to look back and reflect on what you could have done better. That’s our mindset as a team and my mindset as an individual.

“I’ll reflect and work out potentially what I could have done more to help these players get over the line.”

Sampson believes it is too early to make any decisions on his or any of his players’ futures.

“I said to the players and staff that these major tournaments are emotional rollercoasters,” he said.

“This England women’s manager job is a very different job to what it was four years ago. Everything around it now has gone times a hundred.

“We’ve got to be proud of what we’ve achieved, reflect on what we’ve done and put this in perspective: prior to 2015 England Women had only won one knockout match in a major tournament.”

The Football Association invested £14m in women’s football last season, more than any other nation in the tournament.

The team will now begin preparations for the 2019 World Cup in France. They host Russia in their first qualifying game at Prenton Park, Tranmere, in September.

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