Belfast Telegraph

My Lionesses are ready for World Cup bid: Neville

 

Cannot wait: Karen Carney addresses the media in Brighton yesterday ahead of England’s final warm-up match ahead of the Women’s World Cup in France
Cannot wait: Karen Carney addresses the media in Brighton yesterday ahead of England’s final warm-up match ahead of the Women’s World Cup in France

By Simon Peach

England boss Phil Neville insists he trusts every player in his squad as they prepare for their final match before the Women's World Cup in France.

The Lionesses will take on New Zealand in Brighton today before their first group game against Scotland on June 9 in Nice.

England won the SheBelieves Cup for the first time in March, and Neville believes the squad are ready for the World Cup.

He said: "We've prepared for them for so long now that the talking is over. Let's just get out to France.

"There's nothing more we can do on the training ground with them. They're prepared, they understand the system, they have a clarity of everything."

A number of names in Neville's 23-player squad will be playing in their first World Cup but the 42-year-old is not concerned with their lack of tournament experience.

"I have trust in every single one of my players and that means there are 23 players available for selection and fighting for a place against Scotland, Argentina and Japan," said the former Manchester United man.

"They know their value and know their profile in certain positions and certain games that will help us become successful."

The Lionesses have lost once in their last 10 matches, against Canada on April 5, and have won eight on the bounce as Neville stressed the importance of winning.

"Winning breeds momentum," he said. "We place a massive emphasis on winning in training, on and off the pitch. We like to create this competitive environment.

"I think elite sport is about winning and that's what we've tried to focus on. We don't want to settle for second best."

On the importance of this summer's tournament, he added: "Win, lose or draw, we're going there and we're going to enjoy every single minute of it.

"A large part of what we want to do this summer, yes we want to win the World Cup, but actually we just want to continue the growth of women's football."

Karen Carney admitted the squad were eager to get to France as the experienced winger prepares for her ninth consecutive major tournament.

The Chelsea player said: "Everyone's excited. We're dying and itching to get out to France. We just want to get out now and get on that training pitch in France and get on with the three group games."

USA are the most successful team in Women's World Cup history, triumphing three times in the seven editions so far.

USA won the inaugural tournament in 1991, following up with victory in 1999 and enter this year's World Cup as defending champions after picking up their third win in 2015.

Just behind USA is Germany with two World Cup wins (2003 and 2007), so victory in France will take them level with the Americans.

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