Release date: Monday, June 17, 2019, 12:38 pm
English striker Toni Duggan has stated that she will be fit for the women's fight against Japan on Wednesday.
Duggan had a hamstring problem in training the day after the arrival of the Löwinnen in France and suspended the first two Group D games – a 2-1 win over Scotland and a 1-0 win over Argentina.
Looking ahead to Wednesday's game in Nice, the 27-year-old told Press Association Sport, "I'll be fit so I have a big smile on my face."
"It's really frustrating to get injured sometime in a year, but the first day of a World Cup was really, very disappointing, I'm back now, that's good and I want to look ahead and hopefully help the team in the tournament.
"I'm itching to get out of this."
Duggan added, "It can be quite difficult to miss workouts, not being in the team and doing things one-on-one. But I tried to stay positive.
"I know it's a team game and I have to help my teammates, and I'm one of the senior squad members so I tried to do that." Quite a few of the girls are in their first World Cup, so I've been trying to make a contribution out of the field, which I hope has proven to be effective.
"But I think it's time for me to contribute on the pitch, so I'm looking forward to it."
Duggan was in the English team beaten 2-1 by Japan in the semifinals of the 2015 tournament in Canada, a match that was decided by Laura Bassett's own goal in injury time.
It was England's first appearance in the women's last four World Championships and they finished third.
Barcelona player Duggan said: "Crazy game. Losing a game in the last minute when your teammate scores an own goal is really difficult for us as a team and for the individual. But what a tournament. I think honestly with great memories about this tournament.
"Of course it's always disappointing to lose, but I think we've inspired a nation, that was our biggest goal this year, and I think there's another focus this year – we're here to win it.
"There is a lot of trust in the squad, and if you compare the two teams, we have kept the nature of the core group together, and I think that was part of our success."
England has already secured a place in the last 16 with six points after two Group D matches and will secure first place in the pool on Wednesday.
Duggan said, "It's not about revenge or how we played against Japan last time (2015). It's just about leading the group at this World Cup, that's our goal. "