England Ladies captain Steph Houghton has withdrawn from the squad to face North Macedonia after struggling an ankle damage in coaching.
The Manchester Metropolis defender sustained the damage within the last coaching session forward of the 2023 World Cup qualifier at St Mary’s and can now return to her membership for additional evaluation.
Arsenal’s Leah Williamson will as an alternative captain England for the primary time on Friday evening in Houghton’s absence.
England head coach Sarina Wiegman mentioned: “At first we want to want Steph a speedy restoration and hope to see her again match quickly.
“That is additionally an thrilling alternative for Leah Williamson to put on the captain’s armband at senior stage for the primary time and I sit up for seeing her in motion.
“We hope to see as a lot of our followers as potential at this night’s match as we get our World Cup marketing campaign underway.”
Houghton’s withdrawal follows that of her Manchester Metropolis team-mate Esme Morgan, who suffered a broken leg against Tottenham last Sunday.
England had been already with out the Metropolis quartet of Ellie Roebuck, Keira Walsh, Lucy Bronze and Chloe Kelly as a result of damage.
Wiegman encouraged by England first impressions
Wiegman has been inspired by the primary take a look at her Lionesses squad – however shouldn’t be setting any targets simply but.
Wiegman was appointed as Phil Neville’s successor in August 2020, however began the function originally of this month, after main the Netherlands by means of their Olympic marketing campaign this summer season.
Her first recreation in cost comes towards North Macedonia, earlier than the Lionesses journey away to face Luxembourg on Tuesday.
The 51-year-old has a confirmed monitor report of successful, main her residence nation the Netherlands to Euro 2017 victory and ending as runners-up on the 2019 World Cup in France.
And when assessing England’s possibilities of repeating home-soil success at subsequent summer season’s Euro 2022 event, Wiegman mentioned: “What I do know is we have now an excellent staff, that the gamers are very keen to turn out to be higher, to work collectively, very desperate to study.
“The substances are right here to carry out very well. The competitors might be so sturdy, so I do not know the place we might be subsequent yr.
“However I do know now that the beginning is basically good, I am actually having fun with it and these are the substances to proceed and to turn out to be higher.”