England Women’s boss Sarina Wiegman admitted it was tough telling those players who had missed out on the European Championship squad.

Wiegman cut down her 28-person squad to 23 on Wednesday, with former captain Steph Houghton the headline name to miss out.

Wiegman explained her Euros squad selection to talkSPORT

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Wiegman explained her Euros squad selection to talkSPORT

Houghton has captained the Lionesses at their last three major tournaments, but misses out on Euro 2022 on home soil having not played a match since January due to injury.

Wiegman, whose side play their first warm-up match on Thursday, against Belgium at Molineux, told talkSPORT: “We knew that time could be a problem. She did everything she could. I think she is in a very good place, but now needs minutes to get through them.

“We can’t give those minutes and for that reason she is not ready to compete at the highest level at the Euros, which is disappointing.

“She did everything, we supported her. You have to make that hard decision.

“She has made such a big contribution to the team over the years. Every decision for every player that wasn’t picked was hard.

“That has an extra thing on it.

“We had this conversation and of course it was a disappointing conversation.”

Houghton will not be involved in this summer’s Euros on home soil

AFP

Houghton will not be involved in this summer’s Euros on home soil

But this would not necessarily be the end of Houghton’s England career as Wiegman opened the door for a return in future.

She added: “No, it’s not [closed].”

Wiegman also revealed she has been sharing ideas with her male counterpart, Gareth Southgate, who has enjoyed success at his last two major tournaments.

The former Netherlands Women manager led her home nation to the 2017 European Championships and has a good grasp on what it takes to be successful on the big stage.

Asked about her conversations with Southgate, Wiegman said: “We share experiences. That is nice. I think we care about people. Yes, we want to win and you have the best players in the country but you have to have a clear plan and communicate that at all times and also create an environment where players dare to do things.

England bosses Southgate and Wiegman have been sharing ideas

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England bosses Southgate and Wiegman have been sharing ideas

“You make mistakes, but you learn from mistakes. We had these discussions on how to make winning teams.

“That starts with a safe environment, a clear plan and communication with players. It’s also about the quality of the players.”

Wiegman was also hopeful of England’s chances of winning the Euros on home soil, but admitted there was plenty of competition out there for her side.

“The game has developed so much that I see many countries are very, very good. They have evolved from 2017 to now.

“It will be a tough tournament, an exciting tournament. I think we can expect high level games where you don’t know who is going to win it.”

Prince William visited the England team at St George’s Park

AFP

Prince William visited the England team at St George’s Park

She added: “Of course we hope [we win]. We are going to do our very best to perform at the highest level and yes there are so many countries who want to win. We want to win too!

“We are going to give everything we can to make the best out of it and finish as high as possible and take it game-by-game.”

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