Women's World Cup: England's Jodie Taylor ready to boost hopes

By Alistair MagowanBBC Sport in Montreal
Jodie Taylor
Jodie Taylor made her World Cup debut for England against Colombia

Jodie Taylor says she is ready to boost England's World Cup campaign after doubts she would make it to Canada because of a recent injury.

The striker, 29, made her World Cup debut as a substitute against Colombia only eight weeks after knee surgery.

She is now fit to play in England's last-16 tie against Norway on Monday.

"It's been a lifetime goal to play in the World Cup," she said. "So to overcome the injury at such a late stage is amazing."

"It could easily have gone the other way. I've been getting sharper with every session and I'm definitely ready for matches."

England boss Mark Sampson has insisted his whole squad have been fit from the start of the tournament, but Taylor's problems meant it was doubtful she would play a telling part in the group stages.

Taylor, who is the only member of the squad to play in the United States, was introduced against Colombia with nine minutes remaining and almost added to her four goals in nine international appearances.

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The Portland Thorns forward was due to come on as a substitute in England's second group game against Mexico but suffered swelling around her knee at half-time after taking part in the pre-match warm-up.

"It just didn't feel right," Taylor added. "The doctor took a look and, as desperate as I was to play, you've got to know your limits. For the Colombia match, I didn't do the initial warm-up with the team, I started mine at half-time.

"So looking back, [the swelling] might have been just a one-off, but I didn't want to leave anything to chance. It worked out well - I felt good coming into the game and I probably could have played longer."

The former Birmingham player, who has also played in Sweden and Australia, is a newcomer to the England set-up having been given her debut by Sampson in a friendly against Sweden last year.

She thought she had missed her England chance after turning down a call-up by former boss Hope Powell five years ago. At the time, she was playing college football in the United States and "needed a break" from the game.

The Birkenhead-born player also feared that staying in America might damage her chances under Sampson. After playing for Washington Spirit in 2014, she moved to Portland Thorns earlier this year.

But she said: "I'm happy with the move to Portland and the way it's worked out, but I had numerous conversations with Mark about it.

"One of my first questions was: 'Where do I need to be playing? In England?' But he said that it's not where you're playing, it's about your form and ability."

Taylor has since become a key part of Sampson's plans and scored a hat-trick against Australia en route to England winning this year's Cyprus Cup.

But the appearance against Colombia has ensured that all 20 of England's outfield players have now played their part.

She added: "The team has grown into the tournament and beating Colombia was a big win for us. I think we're getting better and better.

"A lot of players have now got minutes, and that's key. In my opinion you can't play the same 11 or 12 players in five or six matches, that won't get you to the final."