Women's World Cup: Colombia will kick and foul, says Karen Carney

World Cup: England v Colombia, Group F
Date: 17 June Kick-off: 21:00 BST Venue: Olympic Stadium, Montreal Coverage: Watch live on BBC Three and online, plus commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and text coverage on the BBC Sport website

England striker Karen Carney expects Colombia to "kick and foul" when the two sides meet in Wednesday's crucial World Cup group game in Montreal.

England need to win the game to be certain of progressing to the last 16.

"They are a typical South American team," said Carney, 27, who scored in England's 2-1 win over Mexico.

"They will be flamboyant, they will be in your faces, they will kick and foul you, they will break up play and frustrate you. That's their game plan."

On avoiding complacency

Colombia top Group F after a shock 2-0 win over France, one of the tournament favourites, in their last game.

The South Americans, who drew with Mexico in their opening match, are ranked 28th in the world, 22 places below England.

Group F table

But Carney, who has 105 caps, said: "I take no notice of rankings. Anyone can beat anyone on any given day.

"It's a World Cup. Everyone has the same objective. They want to win it. If you don't apply yourself, you are going to get beat."

The Birmingham striker added the gap between best and the rest is getting smaller and said: "You really have to be switched on and go for it."

On her England role

Carney, who made her England debut in 2005, came off the bench in the second half to score what turned out to be the winner against Mexico.

But she said: "I don't want the 'supersub' label or anything like that. I just want to come on and express myself and play the best I can."

However, she has been nicknamed The Wizard by England coach Mark Sampson, who took charge of the national team in 2013.

"Not because I'm Harry Potter, just because I can change things and make things happen perhaps out of nowhere," she explained.

On team-mate Fran Kirby

Kirby, 21, grabbed the headlines after the win over Mexico, thanks to her individual goal that broke the deadlock.

Kirby celebrates her strike
Fran Kirby scored in her first start at a major tournament

Carney has nothing but praise for the Reading player, who was likened to Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi by Sampson.

"She's so graceful on the ball," said Carney. "I'm very envious of her.

"She's so talented, so gifted. Her agility and natural ability, you don't find many players like that. She's got the world at her feet.

"She is like a Messi. She is an exceptional talent, she's brilliant and I'm so glad she's on our team.

On fighting mental illness

Carney has battled depression, admitted to self-harm and says there was a time when she "hated football with a complete passion".

She revealed that, at one point, she could not get out of her car to train with Birmingham following her return from the United States in 2011.

"I didn't want to be there, I didn't want to play football, but I felt a pressure to play," said the former Chicago Red Stars player.

Carney, who has also played for Arsenal, said England team-mate Laura Bassett helped get her through those dark moments.

"She's my best mate," said the Solihull-born winger. "She's seen me at really bad lows, but she's got me through them."

On hiding her depression

"You have to fake it to the press, you have to fake it to the little kids that do love the sport and you do have to fake it until you get through it and you are at a point where you enjoy it," she said.

Carney heads the winner against Mexico
Carney heads the winner against Mexico

"It is hard. You can't shatter someone else's dream because yours isn't where it's meant to be at that moment.

"My biggest regret would have been if I gave up and missed the Olympics, missed the last World Cup and wasn't here today.

"It's peaks and troughs and you just have to ride it."

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