'For sure, I’ll step up' – Bullish Parris plans to take England's next penalty
The winger missed her second spot-kick of the Women’s World Cup against Norway but is backing herself to score the next one
Nikita Parris has no doubts in herself despite missing a second consecutive penalty in England’s quarter-final win over Norway.
She joined Mia Hamm in a very exclusive but unwanted club, in becoming just the second player to miss two spot-kicks at a Women’s World Cup, and the first to do so in the same campaign.
But, after terrorising Norway left-back Kristine Minde for 90 minutes, that miss is certainly not on the winger’s mind.
“When you step up and take a penalty it’s 50/50 but you’ve got to back yourself,” Parris said.
“The keeper made a fantastic save and I think she’s done her homework on me, to be fair.
“I need to practise on the training pitch as I’ve got to do better on the spot.
“It’s two penalties and two misses – it’s not good enough in my opinion for my standards as a player.
“I’m disappointed in that aspect but I’m happy with my performance. I’ve got mixed emotions.”
On whether she would take the next one, Parris was bullish, saying: “For sure, I’ll step up.”
She responded in a similar manner when asked if she would speak to the psychologist.
“Talk to the psychologist for what?” the 25-year-old laughed. “I don’t think I need to talk to a psychologist. I’m confident in myself.
“It’s not a case of I’ve missed a penalty and I’m down.
“I’ve just dominated the left-back for 80 or 90 minutes, I’m confident in myself and in my own ability.”
She wasn’t alone in giving Minde plenty to think about, with a stunning performance from right-back Lucy Bronze giving the Norwegian further problems.
A goal, an assist and the player of the match award made for an excellent evening for Parris’ future Lyon team-mate.
Speaking about her partnership with Bronze, she said: “It comes natural now.
“Over the years we’ve worked on it. She played for Manchester City and then she went to Lyon but with England we’ve always worked with each other.
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“I just know where she’s going to be.
“With Jill [Scott] too. We talk a lot about me and Lucy, but Jill is unbelievable. She’s the reason we’re so fluent because she allows us so much space.
“We know that when we go forward we’ve always got her to back us up. She’s been phenomenal this tournament. I’m so thankful to have her to the side of me, Lucy behind me, [Ellen White] in front of me. Then I’ve also got Steph [Houghton], Millie [Bright], Demi [Stokes], Toni [Duggan] on the other side, Beth [Mead] when she comes, Rach Daly, we have so much talent and strength and depth in this team.
“Then we’ve got [Karen Bardsley], she’s made some unbelievable saves.
“I’m so happy to be a part of this team.”
Although Parris went to the semi-finals of the Euros with England two years ago, she wasn’t in the squad that reached the last four of the World Cup in Canada in 2015, making this her first.
And the winger believes it’s exactly what the Lionesses deserve for their approach.
“Coming into this tournament we were brave enough to say we wanted to win it and we’ve put our best foot forward in every match,” she said.
“We’ve battled away and Norway had good possession, they could have punished us at times for our sloppy mistakes but we stuck together and we knew the game plan.
“I thought we executed it in every sense.
“It’s absolutely amazing. I actually can’t comprehend it like now. I’m absolutely buzzing.”
England will take on the United States at Stade de Lyon on Tuesday July 2, with kick-off 8pm BST (3pm ET).