Steph Houghton relishing England’s home return

Steph Houghton chats to Prince William at a reception following the World Cup

Steph Houghton chats to Prince William at a reception following the World Cup

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England skipper Steph Houghton will proudly pull on an England shirt two more times this week.

And the Sunderland fan from South Hetton will be looking for two more big performances.

The Lionesses face Germany in a friendly in Duisburg tomorrow, before taking on Bosnia & Herzegovina in a Euro 2017 qualifier in Bristol on Sunday.

The Bosnia game will be England’s first home match since winning bronze at the World Cup this year - after beating the Germans in the play-off game for the medal.

Since that historic third-place finish, Mark Sampson’s side have won 8-0 in Estonia and played two matches in China.

And a good crowd is expected at Ashton Gate on Sunday with new fans attracted to the women’s game.

“I think it will be an unbelievable occasion,” said the England skipper, who now has 64 senior caps to her name.

“It has been a long time coming and I’d like to think that even though it’s been a few months since the World Cup, we will still get a great reception as if it was just a week after Canada.

“We need to get a result first and foremost. We want three qualifying points, but we want to put on a good performance at the same time.

“It will be a really special day with a lot of fans coming to cheer us on.

“If you speak to any of the girls, they will tell you that we are still getting people coming up to us and congratulating us.

“That’s a really nice feeling and it’s nice to hear that people are proud of us and that we’ve inspired them. It’s great being appreciated by people that you don’t even know.

“That just shows how well we have done to inspire a nation – and not just young girls, but boys as well.

“Hopefully we can entertain them and reward them for what I know will be a great reception. We are all really looking forward to it.”