Toni Duggan: ‘Disappointment will inspire me’

It’s not really that nice to be back with the girls at Everton. Nothing against my team-mates but I should have been out in Sweden a lot longer than I was.

But it is what it is. The tournament wasn’t meant to be for us and my focus now turns back to club football.

A lot of individual players have been asked what went wrong a few times but I don’t think there was one thing you could put your finger on. I think it was a coming together of things. It just didn’t happen for us. On the pitch we were ready, before we went into the tournament we had done all our preparation right but it just didn’t happen out there. We now have to look back, review and see what we can improve on.

I did receive a fair bit of media coverage while I was out there, especially after my goal against Russia. It is nice to be recognised but to be honest I was just thankful to get time out on the pitch. To get the goal that kept England in the competition, obviously you are going to get attention from the media and people back home.

It was a nice feeling but it didn’t overshadow the disappointment of us not succeeding at that tournament. I would have given up that goal if it meant us going further than we did. But as I say, it wasn’t meant to be. I can be happy personally from what came out of the Euros but it was still disappointing for the team.

I have always been determined to succeed with England – not doing so well in Sweden hasn’t changed that. Since playing in the youth teams with England – whether it has been away for a friendly or a training camp – I have always wanted to be in that squad. It is a difficult thing to get into and it’s always important to be there or thereabouts. I will continue to kick on and fighting for my place because it is not always guaranteed.

The disappointment out in Sweden will inspire me for the rest of the WSL season. Football is not all rosy, not all up, up, up or always positive – you are going to have set backs. It’s about bouncing back from them and hopefully that’s what I can do.

Back at Everton, hopefully I can pick up where I left off before the break. I thought I had a good first half of the season so I want to take that into the second half.

I am pleased to have scored a few goals. It’s good to be the number nine in the team, but it comes with a lot of responsibility. I thrive off that though. Now that I have it on my back I just want to score goals. I feel that is my job but I want to help the team however I can. If other people are scoring and we are achieving then that doesn’t bother me too much.

The gap between us and the top two is seven points but everyone has to play everyone. We’ve seen from the first half of the season that anyone is capable of beating anyone in the WSL so who knows what will happen.

All I know is that we will be confident and a lot stronger than we were in the first half of the season. The second ‘pre-season’ has gone well and hopefully we can get off to a good start against Bristol Academy.


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