Carter says England’s ‘exceptional defenders’ can handle Norway star forwards

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JESS CARTER feared her Euros selection chances would be scuppered by her race to be fully fit after a busy season helping Chelsea win the double.

And the Lioness would take an aggressive approach with Caroline Graham Hansen should they face off in England’s duel with Norway.

Jess Carter believes England are capable to dealing with Norway's formidable forwards

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Jess Carter believes England are capable to dealing with Norway’s formidable forwardsCredit: Getty
Guro Reiten and Caroline Graham Hansen are among Norway's biggest attacking threats

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Guro Reiten and Caroline Graham Hansen are among Norway’s biggest attacking threatsCredit: Reuters

Carter, 24, is one of nine Lionesses making their major tournament debuts with the hosts chasing a second group stage win.

The defender, who has 10 senior caps, is yet to feature in the Euros having spent some of her pre-contest build-up working her way back to peak condition.

Her most recent appearances were as a substitute in Sarina Wiegman’s side’s defeats of the Netherlands and Switzerland.  

And Carter is determined to be the best team-mate she can for England who are targeting a place in the sell-out final at Wembley.

The Lionesses star said: “Before the team selection I wasn’t feeling up to scratch and maybe a part of me felt like that was going to affect my chances of going to the Euros.

“I was really quite worried about that, but ultimately the way I see it is I needed to be as honest as I could to help the team win.

“There was no point in me coming in and pushing and pushing and pushing and then getting an injury out of it.

“And I could have been quiet and just got on with it, but I don’t think that would have benefitted me nor the girls really.

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“But the team, the staff and everyone has been amazing and made that period of time as easy as possible for me.

“I had a few days of a little bit of a different schedule, but ever since then, I’ve been back with the team and training as normal.

“Sarina is a winner. She knows that everybody needs to be treated individually in order for us to do our best.

“She has not hidden the fact that she’s happy to individualise things for people and she made that easy for me.

“I’ve been lucky enough to be in Sarina’s squad every single time since she’s taken over.

“But there’s still so much for me to learn from an international perspective.

“I’m seeing things differently and learning so much from different people.

“I think I can only come out of this tournament as a better player.”

Carter believes her involvement in this summer's Euros will make her a better player for club and country

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Carter believes her involvement in this summer’s Euros will make her a better player for club and countryCredit: PA

A victory over Norway at the Amex tonight would see Wiegman’s stars book their place in the Euros’ knockout phase and go 16 games unbeaten under their boss.

It would also see the hosts finish top of Group A.               

Tonight, they face a Norway team determined to make up for their disappointing contest group stage exit five years ago.

Back then, the team, without the services of star striker Ada Hegerberg, lost all three of their opening games without scoring a single goal.

Ada Hegerberg is a great player but we’ve got some exceptional defenders in this team

Jess Carter

Should Carter feature for England, the match could see the defender and vice-captain Millie Bright face Blues pals Guro Reiten and Maren Mjelde.

And in Hegerberg, they will encounter one of Europe’s most dangerous forwards and the all-time top scorer in the Women’s Champions League.  

The England star said: “She’s a great player but we’ve got some exceptional defenders in this team.

Carter believes England have enough defensive knowhow to deal with Ada Hegerberg

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Carter believes England have enough defensive knowhow to deal with Ada HegerbergCredit: AP

“I’m sure we’ll be able to figure out our best tactics to try and keep her as low-key as possible.

On Reiten and Mjelde, Reiten added: “Guro is tremendous on the ball, she has a wonderful left foot

“She’ll be a threat going forward, but in my opinion, she’s nothing that our England team can’t handle.

“We’ve shared our top tips on her and hopefully the girls will take that into the game and defend as best they can.

“It’s the same with Maren, she’s a phenomenal player, but she’s not long come back from injury and played that many games.

“For us maybe that’s a slight advantage.”

Carter and Bright may also end up facing Caroline Graham Hansen for the first time since their club were beaten 4-0 by Barcelona in last year’s Champions League final.

The Norway midfielder was among Barca’s standout performers during the clash at the Gamla Ullevi Stadium in Sweden, netting the final goal of the game.

Carter and Millie Bright have been briefing their national team-mates on their club colleague Reiten

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Carter and Millie Bright have been briefing their national team-mates on their club colleague ReitenCredit: Getty

Carter added: “She’s one of the best players I’ve come up against.

“If I was to come up against her again, I would be more tight and more aggressive

“We’ve got a lot of experience in the squad as well and we’re good enough defensively to deal with her.”

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