Lionesses can win the World Cup and do not fear expectation, says manager Phil Neville
Phil Neville has urged his Lionesses to embrace the fact they can win the World Cup this summer.
The England Women’s boss admits his team are in a ‘brilliant place’ heading into the competition after winning the SheBelieves Cup for the first time.
And rather than being fearful of the expectation, Neville insists he relishes the ‘unbelievable’ opportunity to make history in France.
“We’ve got a lot of momentum on both the women’s and the men’s side.
“Twelve months ago, my remit would’ve been to win the World Cup or get us to a final. I took over a job where the foundations were really strong.
“Sometimes as you get closer to an event, people start to get a little bit nervous because of the expectation and people go, ‘Actually, we might have a good team here and we might have a chance’.
“We should be proud and we should attack this type of situation. We’re going to a World Cup and we’re probably one of five or six teams who can win it.
“And you know what? We’re not going to hide away from the fact that we are a good team.
“And yes, we have got an unbelievable opportunity.”
The Lionesses beat Japan 3-0 in their final round-robin game to lift the SheBelieves trophy after also beating Brazil and drawing with world champions USA.
And it was the result against the Americans which showed Neville how far his team have come under his reign.
“Twelve months ago, I was stood on the touchline against the USA and I thought we fell below them. We were deficient in certain areas.
“And twelve months further on we’ve gone to the same competition and improved in that space of time.
“We’re in a brilliant place. We’re confident, the momentum is with us, and we’ve got to take that into the World Cup.”