Arsenal head coach Joe Montemurro has spoken about how Beth Mead used her disappointment at being left out of the latest England squad as an opportunity to improve herself.
Mead failed to make the smaller than usual 21-player squad for February’s Lionesses camp, with interim head coach Hege Riise saying at the time that her “player report wasn’t great”.
However, when Fran Kirby had to depart the team due to injury, the 25-year-old Arsenal winger was called upon to take her place.
“Beth was disappointed,” said the Australian on Friday.
“She’s been an integral part of the England squad over the past few years during my tenure so she was disappointed. All credit to Beth, she knew that she was given a reason and she knew what she had to achieve and she came in here and worked harder.
“And then we got the phone call that she was needed for the national team and she got the best of both worlds. She got the opportunity to just get on with things and really be professional in the way she dealt with the disappointment – but then obviously she had the opportunity to prove herself.“
Mead found herself an unused substitute in Tuesday’s 6-0 win over Northern Ireland – England’s first game in nearly a year.
But Montemurro was quick to reassure his player how highly he rates her.
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“Beth has been, I think, very very good this year in terms of her understanding of her position a bit better in both phases – in both the attacking and defensive phase,” he said.
“And she’s assisted a lot and she’s contributed in a very, very big way.
“I rate Beth very, very highly on the world scale.”