Lionesses captain Millie Bright insists England are focused on toppling Haiti with bonus pay concerns parked | The Sun

MILLIE BRIGHT is "itching" to make World Cup history after declaring herself fit to go to battle for England in the contest.

The Lionesses’ captain says players will be tournament-focused when they take on Group D minnows Haiti with bonus pay matters on hold.

Today's game will see Bright on England duty for the first time since February, following a knee injury she sustained in a Champions League game for Chelsea a month later.

It will also see the Euros champs face Haiti for the first time in a World Cup,

Their opponents are one of the five lowest-ranked sides in the tournament and will be making their contest debut in the duel at Brisbane Stadium.

Bright, who has been a lynchpin in England’s defence, won her race to be fit and featured in a behind-closed-doors 0-0 draw with Canada.

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The 66-capped Lioness, 29, said: "I was very confident in my recovery.

"I have been given absolutely everything I needed to be in this position that I am in.

“I am grateful that I am able to play. I am super excited to be here." 

Bright’s knee concerns ahead of the tournament coincide with a triple Lionesses injury blow with Willamson, Beth Mead and Fran Kirby all crocked.

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Along with Bright the trio were among the most influential players for England during their dramatic charge to Euros glory last July.

Reflecting on her journey to back to full fitness, Bright added: "Personally, I went day by day to start with.

"It's important to be in the moment and present, and not look too far ahead.

"By doing that I kind of removed all the pressure of being fit almost, so day-by-day my head was in that place on that day.

“But I'm always confident that I do absolutely everything that I can for the team, and to put myself in the best position.

"I knew I would tick all the boxes in terms of my recovery."

On how she mentally managed her push to get fit with England missing Mead, Kirby and Williamson, Bright flagged the support of team-mates and Wiegman’s staff.

Bright added: "You mentioned players not being here, but unfortunately injuries are part of football.

"We have to look forward and move forward.

"We've got an amazing group of players and staff and everyone has stepped up. We're raring to go."

Off the pitch Bright and her team-mates publically revealed their World Cup bonus pay negotiations with FA chiefs are on hold until after the contest.

On Tuesday players publicly admitted they were disappointed that talks had reached a stalemate.

Bright said: "It's not a situation everyone wants to be in.

"As players we're not just programmed to play football, sometimes we have to have these conversations.

"But we have a very professional group and football is always at the front of everything. 

"I'm aware that everyone's seen the statement.

"So as players now, with our heads on the game – they always have been on the game – everything is on hold.

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"For now it’s all about the tournament."

England's game against Haiti can be watched live on ITV1 and on the BBC at 10:30 (BST). The game will kick off at 7:30 pm local time in Brisbane, Australia.

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