Signeul aiming for ‘career highlight’

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Scotland head coach Anna Signeul’s side will have to overcome the odds against England

Anna Signeul says a positive result against England in Scotland’s opening match of Euro 2017 would represent a career highlight.

Scotland’s head coach and her captain Gemma Fay both say the game will be their proudest moment in football.

Confidence is high within an England squad that believes they can win the tournament outright.

“We definitely go out as underdogs,” said Signeul. “But that doesn’t mean we don’t have expectations ourselves.”

Fay will win her 201st cap on Wednesday and is savouring the enormity of the fixture – Scotland’s first game in a major tournament.

“It’s the biggest game of my career, it’s possibly the biggest game for some other players, but it’s probably the most exciting as well,” the Scotland captain told a large media pack assembled at Utrecht’s Stadion Galgenwaard.

Asked if the same was true for her and whether a positive outcome would be her greatest achievement, Swede Signeul added: “Yeah, that would definitely be the case.

“I feel half-Scottish and it would be a proud moment.”

Scotland captain Gemma Fay won her 200th cap against Republic of Ireland but says facing England is the “biggest game” of her career

Scotland have beaten England just twice in 24 previous meetings, most recently in 2011, and their rivals go into the finals unbeaten in their last nine competitive matches.

But Signeul and her players are not approaching the game with an inferiority complex.

“We have expectations of putting on a good performance. That’s what we’re focusing on and [we will] see how far that can take us,” Signeul said.

Fay stressed that the significance of this fixture lies principally in its status as the opening game of Scotland’s first major tournament, with the England-Scotland rivalry of much less importance.

“As a one-off game, it’s a fantastic occasion to be part of and it’s something that any player who ever wants to play for Scotland or England wants to be part of,” she said.

“But first and foremost it’s an opening match at a major championship and that’s how we view it.

“The rivalry is not going to overshadow what we’re here to do and that’s to go out and look to win this first game at the European Championship.”

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