Ellen White: England forward keen to improve under interim boss Hege Riise

Manchester City striker White has scored 36 times in 92 appearances for England, including six goals at the 2019 Women's World Cup; Hege Riise took over as interim boss in January after Phil Neville opted to stand down

England striker Ellen White (AP image)
Image: Ellen White has scored 36 times in 92 appearances for England

Ellen White has stressed her desire to get even better as England prepare to return to action under new interim boss Hege Riise.

The 31-year-old Manchester City striker has scored 36 times in 92 appearances for England, including six goals at the 2019 Women's World Cup.

She headed into the current international break as the Women's Super League's all-time top-scorer, with 55 goals, and having scored four times in her last five league appearances.

England host Northern Ireland in a friendly on Tuesday, a month on from Phil Neville stepping down as boss and Riise being put in temporary charge, in what will be the Lionesses' first international in 11 months.

Manchester City striker Ellen White (PA image)
Image: White is the Women's Super League's all-time top-scorer, with 55 goals

"I want to develop, I want to get better," White said ahead of the game at St George's Park.

"Definitely I feel good at the moment, and hopefully that can continue in this international camp."

Asked about young forwards such as 20-year-old Bristol City striker Ebony Salmon, part of this England squad having received her first call-up, White said: "It excites me. We've got some very, very talented youth coming through.

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"I'm 31 but I still want to develop, and these players are pushing me just as much as I want to push them and help and develop them. I think it's just hugely exciting for our England team at the moment."

Following Neville's decision to leave his England post earlier than had been scheduled, to take charge at Inter Miami, Riise is to oversee three camps before Sarina Wiegman then takes the reins in September.

England v USA - FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 - Semi Final - Stade de Lyon
England head coach Phil Neville (left) and Ellen White after the final whistle during the FIFA Women's World Cup Semi Final match at the Stade de Lyon.
Image: Phil Neville stood down as England manager in January

"What Phil did for the England squad and for me personally gave me a lot of confidence as a number nine and as a forward for England," White said.

"But I feel like I've had a lot of experience with different managers, different philosophies and having to prove yourself again.

"I'll control what I can control in terms of working hard and doing what I can as a striker, hopefully scoring goals and just proving why I should be selected. There are so many talented English players that it is very challenging. But I am excited by Hege coming in and what she can bring."

Riise is also set to either manage or be assistant boss of the Great Britain team for the delayed Tokyo Olympics this summer.

Hege Riise
Image: England interim boss Hege Riise could also manage Great Britain's football team at this summer's Olympics

White, who played for GB at the London 2012 Olympics, said: "Being able to say I am an Olympian ... It was an unbelievable experience. It definitely did help propel women's football. And to be a part of the Games in Tokyo this summer would be an absolute dream.

"Obviously we understand it might be a little bit of a different Games, but nonetheless I think it will just be an absolutely phenomenal occasion, to be part of another GB team. I'm really excited to be part of England at the moment, and working really hard to hopefully be selected for that Games."

She added: "I totally understand we are living in a crazy, strange world at the moment, a global pandemic, but I was lucky enough to be listening as part of a kind of Team GB meeting which really helped in terms of giving a lot of positivity towards the Games being on, which is really exciting.

"I just want to work hard, train hard, and not focus too much on it - but it is hard not to focus on the Olympics because it is such an amazing occasion to be part of that squad."

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