Lucy Bronze wants more special occasions for England Women like Saturday and despite suffering a fresh defeat in front of a bumper crowd, still believes they can return to Wembley for the Euro 2021 final.
Phil Neville saw his team lose for a fifth time in their last seven matches after Klara Buhl hit a 90th-minute winner for Germany in a 2-1 victory for the visitors.
A record-breaking crowd of 77,768 – the highest ever for an England Women’s home fixture – was in attendance and a wonderful atmosphere was created at the national stadium, but the Lionesses continue to struggle for form since the World Cup.
Germany, who are ranked second in the world, are likely to be one of the key challengers to Neville’s side at the Euros in England in two years’ time and produced a slicker display at the weekend to show there is work to be done for the ex-Manchester United player.
“Hopefully playing a top team like Germany, we can look at this and see what we did good and bad and it can be a turning point to say if we want to beat these top teams, we need to be better to compete,” said full-back Bronze.
“We’ve been a team that has been able to perform at a high level in tournaments which means now we have that fanbase who want to come and watch us.
“I like to look towards the future and think this (a huge crowd at Wembley) will be something that can happen again.
“The [Euro] 2021 final is at Wembley, I would love to be playing in that in an England shirt lifting the trophy, but looking to the future this is something that can continue to happen and that as an England player I would love.”
When Germany and the Lionesses last played in this country, a crowd of 45,619 watched the hosts lose 3-0 under then-head coach Mark Sampson in 2014.
It was a disappointing Wembley display that time and although the showing on Saturday was better, it did not last 90 minutes.
England Women have produced good football in patches, but each of their five recent defeats have been by a 2-1 score.
Bronze added: “We played here five years ago against Germany and got whitewashed in the first half.
“We showed a better viewing of ourselves (on Saturday), but still not quite what we hope for from this England team.
“The (Ellen White) goal was exceptional, but it’s about doing it for 90 minutes and improving.
“It’s a long-term project, we know we can get there and we have the players to do it.
“There are players not getting in the squad who are world class so it is there, it is just about getting it all together to work for 90 minutes now.”