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Houghton: We have to be upbeat

Steph Houghton is refusing to dwell on England's opening game defeat in the Women's World Cup, insisting her side must remain positive.

The Three Lionesses suffered a 1-0 loss to France to kick-off their adventure in Canada and continue their poor record against Les Bleues, but the skipper says her side can be proud of their efforts and must use the experience proactively.

With little time between games as Mark Sampson's side face Mexico on Saturday night, the centre-back has encouraged her teammates to look ahead, rather than back at last night's blow.

"As a squad, we are feeling positive," she asserted. "We can come away from the game with our heads held high.

Steph Houghton in action for England

"We are disappointed to lose but we have to take the positives out of the way we performed. We stifled France and their world-class forwards.

"Every single player stuck to the game plan. We needed a little bit extra going forward but we had to respect France.

"They are third in the world and are in-form, so we have to take the positives and move on to the Mexico game on Saturday.

We will recover properly and be ready to produce the goods at the weekend.

An inspiration both on and off the pitch, the 27-year-old believes her side have what it takes to bounce back and progress in the tournament.

"We’re ambitious," she stated. "We’ve got winners in this side. Every time you play for England, you want to win. 

"We are going to go into the Mexico game feeling positive. Now is the time for us to kick on and hopefully get three points.

"We have to be upbeat."

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