Leah Williamson says England team-mates would make a stand against online abuse

Arsenal's Leah Williamson has been shortlisted for the Women's Super League player of the year award

Arsenal's Leah Williamson has been shortlisted for the Women's Super League player of the year award - Credit: PA

Leah Williamson says the Lionesses would be willing to join football's boycotting of social media. 

Speaking to the media on Monday ahead of England's game with Canada on Tuesday night the 24-year-old said: "Unfortunately members of the team and the wider squad have experienced abuse, we all stand together in terms of our viewpoint on it and how unacceptable it is and one hundred percent I think the team would join collective action if that was deemed to be the most effective. 

"You can have all sorts of levels and severities of online abuse from getting abuse after a football game because of the performance to then the colour of your skin, sexuality or your gender all of it is unacceptable yet I can't believe that there aren't any measures to deal with them based on that severity, absolutely nothing is being done and its unacceptable."

Williamson, who started in England's defeat to France on Friday then was asked about the current form of the team and she responded: "It's hard to be honest in terms of the form that we were in before the pandemic and then obviously the game the other day I hadn't thought to much about it, I can't speak for the other girls but it's not something we've been talking about being on a bad run of form just because we hadn't played a game for nearly a year. 

"To be honest it felt like a bit of a fresh start the other day and in terms of the performance it's a prime example of one of those were your stats have gone up and your stats are impressive and we're creating more chances against a top side and conceding less yet lost 3-1. 

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"I'm very aware of that fact everybody is disappointed and the only positive is that we have a chance to turn it around and this is not the game that counts this is the preparation and the lessons learnt will help us in the summer and beyond and that's what matters."

The 24-year-old could win her 20th cap against the Canadians who are coached by former England assistant manager Bev Priestman at Stoke City's Bet365 Stadium with Williamson adding: "Everybody's got a fairy tale dream of walking into the England setup, being given your shirt and then winning the World Cup.

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“I think the fact that we're on this learning process is very beneficial to me to be on the pitch at those times in terms of learning where we're weak, where I'm weak and where I can contribute to the team. 

“I'd much rather it being a learning processes now so that I know what it means, I know what matters and I know how to win the big games."

Arsenal's number 6 also said that there is healthy competition in the England camp ahead of selection for the Olympics in the summer that will see 18 players from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland selected for Team GB as she explained: "This is probably one of the most competitive camps, there's been a lot of match play within the training sessions and that's allowed for things to become quite competitive because you're going 11 v 11 and battling it out. 

"Everybody knows that they are almost auditioning for their spot that's no secret but there's also a lot of support between us especially between Lotte Wubben-Moy and myself.

"In terms of what she needs I'm there to help her and make her better but we all had this conversation that you don't want to be on the plane because somebody else was bad. 

"You want to be on the plane because they were good but you were better so that's the mentality that is helping us chase our spots."

On the defeat to France Williamson said when asked if Steph Houghton and Lucy Bronze were a miss in the game she said: "One Hundred per cent, players of their experience you're always going to miss them in a team regardless even just their presence in terms of how we played as a team Hege Riise mentioned quite a lot about the defending as a team not just being a back four.

"So obviously there's a collective issue that we need to make sure we tighten up on, and of course when you have players like that missing it's always going to be a slight effect on the team because they're such a big presence normally."

Williamson also went on to praise Wubben-Moy as she said: "It's great to see her in the England squad, obviously Lotte was around in the spring series both her and Anna Patten broke through then and they are unbelievable really good assets to the team. 

"I'm glad that she's came back from America and picked straight up were she left off, looking back on my own career I wish there were those opportunities handed to me to be ready, and I think Lotte has came back an incredible athlete and footballer from America and it's the perfect time for her to get these opportunities to come in because she's a great footballer and she's showing that."

England play Canada live on BBC Four and the BBC Iplayer with a 7.15 pm kick off on Tuesday evening. 

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