SheBelieves Cup: England v Spain – I’ll know when it’s right to go, says Phil Neville

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March 11, 2020
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    England manager Phil Neville

    Phil Neville came in for heavy criticism following England’s defeat against the United States in their opening game

    England v Spain, SheBelieves Cup

    How to follow:Watch live on BBC Four, BBC iPlayer & BBC Sport website

    England manager Phil Neville says he “will know if it is the time to go” but insists he has the backing of the Football Association.

    Neville’s side have picked up three wins in 10 games going into Wednesday’s SheBelieves Cup game against Spain.

    He led England to fourth place at the 2019 World Cup but has come in for criticism following losses to lower-ranked sides Brazil and Norway.

    “I will know myself if it is not working,” said Neville.

    “I will know if it’s time to go and [the FA] know I’m that type of person.”

    England returned to winning ways against Japan on Sunday, picking up a 1-0 victory, four days after losing 2-0 to world champions the United States at the SheBelieves Cup.

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    Highlights: Japan 0-1 England

    Neville said it was “really important” to have the backing of the FA, adding: “If they start wobbling, then it’s time to change and to look elsewhere.

    “You have to look beyond the criticism. I own a football club myself and I think it’s important to give support to the manager.

    “Stability is the key to success and I am lucky I have that from the people I work for. There is a real balance and acceptability that we have to improve but [the FA] know the journey we are going on.”

    Neville, who enjoyed a successful playing career with Manchester United and Everton, admitted he told former boss David Moyes he wanted to retire at half-time during a game for the Toffees.

    “I came off after a game when I was 36 against Wigan and I played terrible. Literally, at half-time, I retired from football because I knew full well my time had come,” said Neville.

    “I went to see David Moyes the next day and I was gone. I stayed until the end of the season and that was it. I knew myself – I’m quite honest and reflective in that way.”

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    SheBelieves Cup highlights: USA 2-0 England

    England, who are defending champions at the SheBelieves Cup, play their final match against Spain in Dallas.

    They must beat Spain by four or more goals and hope the USA lose to Japan to stand any chance of winning the tournament.

    The winner is determined by the total points won from all three games before goal difference, goals scored and then head-to-head results are taken into consideration.

    Neville said there was more “confidence and relief within the team” following the victory over Japan but he knows “we still have a long way to go”.

    “Ultimately, it was only Japan, and the Spain test will be like playing against one of the top five teams in the world, which will give us a better gauge than the Japan game,” he added.

    More rotation to come?

    Neville made six changes to the starting line-up for the victory over Japan, opting for youth over experience with Chloe Kelly, Bethany England and Lauren Hemp all starting up front.

    But Hemp, who has started back-to-back games for England, is likely to come off the bench against Spain.

    It means there could be a start for Atletico Madrid forward Toni Duggan, who impressed as a substitute and picked up the assist on Sunday.

    Leah Williamson, England and Rachel Daly will be assessed in training. They picked up knocks in the win over Japan.

    Neville also said he will have to see how centre-backs Millie Bright and Steph Houghton “shape up” after starting both games during the tournament.

    Source

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    March 11, 2020
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