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Beth England: Chelsea forward says visit to psychologist helped her regain her form

I’ve come out of injury a better person – Beth England
Women’s Super League: Tottenham v Chelsea
Venue: The Hive Stadium, London Date: 24 April Time: 14:30 BST
Coverage: Live coverage on BBC One and iPlayer from 14:15, plus live text commentary on BBC Sport website

Chelsea forward Beth England says a visit to a psychologist has helped her to regain her form after a difficult first half to the season.

England, 27, revealed she had a “down” period when out injured and needed to focus on her mental health.

The Lionesses striker is now fully fit again and back in form, scoring six goals in her past four matches as Chelsea seek a league and cup double.

“I’ve been able to come out of that a better person,” she told BBC Sport.

  • Hayes praises Chelsea consistency after cup win

England struggled for form earlier in the campaign, going 12 games without a goal in all competitions between October and January.

Then after finally finding the back of the net again against West Ham at the end of January, she picked up a calf injury and did not play again for a month

“I’m quite a bubbly person but went through a bit of a down period where I wouldn’t show my true personality as much because it was a tough time,” she said.

“Thankfully I’ve got good people around me that keep me in a good place. I’ve had external help where I’ve needed it in certain situations.

“I’ve worked with a psychologist and it’s someone different that is able to not be as close personally to me. Friends and family could give you the answer you want to hear, not need to hear.

“So having a different perspective helps a lot and they have been a great help to me and probably one of the reasons why I’m managing to produce such good performances – because I’m in a good head space.”

Beth England
Beth England has won seven major honours with Chelsea, including three WSL titles

On the pitch, Chelsea also suffered the disappointment of a group-stage exit from the Champions League in December, while a shock defeat by Reading that same month allowed Arsenal to gain the initiative in the WSL title race.

However, since England returned to fitness at the start of March, Emma Hayes’ side have won eight out of nine games in all competitions to return to the top of the WSL table and reach the FA Cup final, with their only defeat coming against Manchester City in the League Cup final last month.

“We knew our Champions League performance was not good enough, especially after getting to the final last season,” said England. “And although we lost the Continental Cup final to City, there’s been ongoing improvements.

“I’m really proud of how we’ve done because we have had big players out injured too. Everyone who has been called upon has been ready.

“Chelsea are known for winning but we have had hiccups this season which have knocked us, but we have bounced back.”

‘Title race going down to the wire’

After beating Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final last weekend, Chelsea’s focus will return to the WSL when they travel to Tottenham on Sunday.

The Blues have spent much of the campaign trailing the Gunners in the table but they now lead Jonas Eidevall’s side by one point with four games remaining.

“It’s exciting. It’s football. No-one wants an easy season. It makes it better for spectators and fans. A bit more nail biting,” said England.

“Players love the pressure, the thrill of it and it is going to go down to the wire and make for an exciting end to the season.

“The girls know what’s at stake and want to win. We know we can’t slip up and have to do our best.

“There’s no extra motivation needed for us when we go on that pitch.

“Spurs have had a phenomenal year and have taken points off some big teams. It’s going to be a dog-eat-dog fight and will come down to whoever has got the best fight in them.”

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