England star Nikita Parris vows to continue to take penalties – 'I’m confident in myself'

Parris’ penalty spot miss in Le Havre on Thursday night was the only low point in a superb performance, which saw Phil Neville’s team sweep aside Norway 3-0 and book their place in the World Cup semi-finals.

It was Parris’ second successive miss from the spot after she saw her kick saved against Argentina, and this time her effort was superbly stopped by Norway’s veteran goalkeeper Ingrid Hjelmseth.

But Parris otherwise had a fine game, setting up Ellen White’s second goal for the Lionesses after Jill Scott had given them the lead. Lucy Bronze struck a glorious third goal to cap a brilliant individual performance.

But Parris, who left Manchester City to join Bronze at Olympique Lyonnais in May, insists she has not been fazed by her penalty miss – and has no need to see the team psychologist England have with them in France.

The Liverpudlian scoffed: “Talk to the psychologist for what?! I don’t need to talk to a psychologist.

“I’m confident in myself. It’s not a case of I’ve missed a penalty and I’m down. I’ve just dominated the left-back for 80 or 90 minutes, I’m confident in myself and in my own ability.”

Parris, who did score from the spot against Scotland in England’s opening group game, added: “For sure I’ll step up for the next penalty. I’ve got confidence in myself and in my ability.

“When you step up and take a penalty it’s 50/50 – but you’ve got to back yourself. The keeper made a fantastic save. I think she had done her homework on me, to be fair.

READ  Yannick Carrasco provides Arsenal transfer update as he drops fresh hint

“I need to practice on the training pitch as I’ve got to do better on the spot. It’s two penalties and two misses – it’s not good enough for my standards. I’m disappointed in that aspect but I’m happy with my performance. I’ve got mixed emotions.”

Tuesday night in Lyon will be the 25 year old’s first semi-final with England, who lost at this stage in Canada at the 2015 World Cup, and also at the 2017 European Championships.

Parris said: “I actually can’t comprehend it. It’s my first time in the semi-final and I’m absolutely buzzing.

“Coming into this tournament we were brave enough to say we wanted to win it and we’ve put our best foot forward in every match.

“We’ve battled away. Norway had good possession, they could have punished us at times for our sloppy mistakes, but we stuck together and we knew the game plan. We executed it in every sense.”

A Laura Bassett own goal saw England heartbreakingly beaten by Japan in Edmonton four years ago, but Parris said: “The girls were so unlucky against Japan. It’s small margins in the World Cup and even on Thursday, if Norway had put away some of their chances, it could have been a very different game.

“I’ve worked so hard for this moment. So have all the girls. So many hours. We have to absolutely dominate going forward now. We have to be even more dangerous.”

As for her so far devastating partnership with Bronze down England’s right flank, Parris said: “It comes natural. Over the years we’ve worked on it. I know where she’s going to be.”

READ  Jack Wilshere identifies the major change Mikel Arteta has made at Arsenal

The Lionesses had a visit from former England skipper David Beckham and daughter Harper before the game on Thursday – the pair also watching from the stands as England produced a potentially landmark performance.

Parris said: “He said to enjoy the moment. He said we were ready and we knew we were ready. He gave us some unbelievable confidence. He told us we inspire his little girl – and that’s special. We like to inspire Harper but also the many girls across the country who are watching football for the first time.”



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here