01 March 2020

England midfielder Jill Scott admits she 'really struggled' after 'draining' World Cup exit

England midfielder Jill Scott has opened up about the heartache she went through following the Lionesses World Cup semi-final defeat to the USA last summer.

The 33 year-old, who has been a stalwart in the national side since 2013 and has been capped 146 times, was a major part of England's success at the 2019 tournament.

But after coming so close to a World Cup final, Scott revealed it was an exceptionally difficult thing to mentally overcome.

Speaking to The Telegraph, she said: “This one was probably the hardest one and I’d openly say that. I really struggled. 

"You’ve got to think: from every single day since qualifying, you wake up and you’re like, I’m going to give my all because we’ve got a World Cup coming up, and suddenly, in one game, in one moment, your dreams are taken away from you.

"People call it a World Cup hangover, but you feel like you just need a break from football. But you can’t because the next thing is around the corner.

“I went into club training and the first day was physical tests, and I felt like I didn’t know if I wanted to cry. You’re just absolutely drained, and I recognised I needed more time off.”

Scott and the rest of her England team-mates had just two months to recover before the start of the new Women's Super League campaign.

And the midfielder revealed she spoke to a psychologist when back at her club side Manchester City in order to try and straighten things out for herself.

“Yeah, at City (I spoke to a psychologist)," she added. "She helped us a lot. She just listened and recognised that I needed a little bit more of a break, and then I was fine. I think a lot of the girls were feeling like that.

"It’s just trying to get yourself out of it. It’s a massive disappointment – for any player, but especially for the older ones. They probably know that’s your last World Cup. But I think we’re all in a good position now. We’ve managed to get ourselves back on that even keel. It’s an exciting time for England."

Since the disappointment of last summer, Scott has maintained the form she showed for England and been a major part of Man City's stellar campaign which sees them currently top of the WSL.

However, with Chelsea just a point behind and holding a game in hand over them, Scott and co will have to rely on Emma Hayes' side slipping up if they are to clinch the title this season.

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