Burnley’s Rachel Brown-Finnis admits England have been handed a tough task as they kick-off their Euro 2013 campaign tonight against Spain.
Hope Powell’s fourth-seeds play their first Group C fixture at the Linkoping Arena (kick-off 7-30 p.m.) as the Three Lionesses look to go one better than 2009, when they lost the final to Germany.
England go into the game having seen their 11-game unbeaten run come to a halt last week in a 4-1 friendly defeat against Sweden, when Brown-Finnis earned her 80th cap as a half-time substitute.
Brown, 32, is at her fourth Euros, having previously been selected for Euro 2001 in Germany, 2005 in England, and last time out in Finland, and having got to the final four years ago, losing 6-2 to Germany in the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki, she would like nothing better than to cap a 16-year international career with silverware.
However, she admitted: “We’re in a tough group with Spain, Russia and France.
“We know from past tournaments it’s always tough,anything can happen and we’ll take it a game at a time.
“Four years ago we lost our first game against Italy 2-1, and were 2-0 down early on against Russia, before coming back to win 3-2.
“We drew our last group game with Sweden 1-1 and went through as one of the two best third-placed teams.
“To get to the final was a great achievement, although we lost 6-2.
“But this group has been together a long time - Rachel Yankey, Kelly Smith, myself, and it would be amazing to cap our careers with England with a major trophy.”
England’s second game is on Monday night against Russia at 5 p.m., before taking on France on Thursday at 7-30 p.m., with both games again in Linkoping.