The Lionesses boss has said that England must be at their best to win the World Cup, but insisted they have nothing to fear
Phil Neville knows it will take his England team playing at their best if they are to challenge in the Women’s World Cup, and has called in his team to put forth a superhuman effort in France.
England open their campaign on Sunday against Scotland who they beat 6-0 in the 2017 European Championships, but their manager knows it won’t be so easy to beat them again.
Recent setbacks in games with Canada and New Zealand have increased the scrutiny on the much-fancied Lionesses, but Neville thinks those defeats show how hard England must work if they are to triumph this summer.
“For us to win it, we’ve got to be at our best and more,” Neville told a press conference.
“That I’m certain of. We’ll have to do a superhuman effort. The players know that. We’re in it to win it. We’ve had defeats to Canada and New Zealand in the last few months and I think what those defeats told us was that we cannot drop below our best or we will pay the price.”
Competition in this tournament will be stiffer than ever before. England are one of six teams U.S.A. legend Julie Foudy believes can lift the trophy.
Perennial favourites and holders, the U.S. are joined by France, Japan, Germany and Australia in that bracket according to Foudy, but Neville believes his team have nothing to fear, while acknowledging that America has paved the way.
“A lot of team have caught the USA up,” the former Manchester United player continued.
“They were the outstanding team but what happens to outstanding teams is people study them.
“The fact that Lucy Bronze plays in France for Lyon means she has no fear about playing against the best players.
“My England players who play in America have no fear about playing American girls. They know they’re only human.”
Neville preaches bravery to his team and insists that he won’t berate them for making mistakes.
“I only criticise my players if they don’t try and make that pass, if they take the safe option.
“For the last 16 months we’ve told them about risk-taking, gambling in the final third, being brave.”
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