The players, of course, have their own ambitions.
“We all have dreams and we all want to win,” forward Lauren Hemp said. “We will see how the tournament goes. But it’s something we’re obviously striving for, coming out of the championships and winning the Euros. It makes you hungry to want to earn more.”
Manchester City defender Esme Morgan, 22, is among the new faces vying for playing time. “That has been emphasized a lot, to be honest, that there are no fixed places in the team,” she said after playing the full 90 minutes in the draw against Portugal. “There is so much competition at every position on the field. You can really see that in training: the bar is very, very high.”
Lucy Bronze, one of the oldest players on the team, looked to her own history for guidance. “I came into 2015 as a young player not expecting to play much and ended up playing in every game, scoring goals, and forced myself into the spotlight and blew up a bit,” she said. “Anything can happen in a World Cup.”
Wiegman harbors his own hopes for the team. “We also have high expectations,” he said. But true to his instructions, he stays in the now. She is not interested in discussing a possible rematch against Australia in the round of 16, or a possible collision with the United States, Germany or anyone else if England can navigate to the knockout stages.
“First let’s see, ‘OK, we want to get out of the group stage,’” he said. “Then you go to the next stage and we see who is in front of us. It’s going to be very hard. And if we reach the final, hopefully we will.
“It doesn’t really matter who is in front of us. You just want to win every game.”