Phil Neville keen to speak to FA about more thorough preparations


Phil Neville will speak to the Football Association about improving preparations for England Women after their SheBelieves Cup defeat against the United States.

England lost their final game of the tournament 1-0 against the hosts in Orlando on Wednesday night, having previously beaten France and drawn with Germany.

Those three teams are among England’s biggest challengers but Neville, taking charge of the team for the first time at the invitational tournament, feels preparations are going to have to be better and more thorough for major worldwide and European challenges to come.

Neville said travelling to and around the United States had proved troubling, in terms of allowing the team sufficient time for recovery and training, and he revealed the team had travelled in economy class throughout, a contrast to the business or first-class seats afforded to Gareth Southgate’s team.

“We need to give ourselves the best opportunity to do well,” Neville said.

“I quite enjoyed the flight over here, I’d nine hours with the team and it was great bonding. It’s not my top priority [flying business class]. You always want better, but that’s not No 1 on my list.

“The USA gave themselves the best opportunity they could to win a home tournament, but there are things we could do differently.

“We were made to travel through three or four different cities just to get here and I had one training session with the team before the first game, after a nine-hour flight.

Karen Bardsley's own goal gave the USA victory and handed them the SheBelieves Cup
Karen Bardsley’s own goal gave the USA victory and handed them the SheBelieves Cup

“There are things we can control as well. Why were Chelsea playing Manchester City on the day we met up as a squad? I had five players withdraw before we left England.

“We had a full fixture list too, but we are able to change that because we [the FA] are in charge of the league. I need seven days with the team before a tournament if we are going to win it.

“I’ve got to fight on behalf of my players to make sure they get the best.”

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