I’m in love with the job – Neville wants another crack at Women’s World Cup

Phil Neville says it would be a “dream” to manage England at the next Women’s World Cup.

Neville guided the Lionesses to the semi-finals of this summer’s edition in France, with the team subsequently finishing fourth.

The 42-year-old, who was appointed as boss in January 2018, is on a contract that runs through to the Euro 2021 finals, which will be hosted by England.

Phil Neville wants to lead England into the next Women's World Cup
Phil Neville wants to lead England into the next Women’s World Cup (Nigel French/PA).

He is also set to be in charge of Great Britain’s team at next summer’s Tokyo Olympics.

Neville stressed as the campaign in France came to an end that he had every intention of seeing out the remaining two years of his contract.

And, speaking on Tuesday as he announced his first squad since the tournament for the forthcoming friendlies against Belgium and Norway, he said: “I’ve got to say what I experienced in the summer, coaching hasn’t given me that kind of feeling (before).

“So to go to the 2023 World Cup would be another dream. The summer gave me everything and more of what I wanted in my coaching career.

“I think players need to be excited, challenged. I’ve got to make sure that after the Euros my players are still listening to my messages, that they’re still challenged by me, and the FA have to look at me and say, ‘Am I the right person to take this team forward?’ It’s a two way thing.

“My contract is up until 2021. At this moment in time the FA are happy with the job I’m doing and I’ve fallen in love with the job that I’m doing. So I see no reason why it can’t continue.

“As long as I’m getting the backing and support from the organisation that they are giving me now, and as long as I can see the direction that women’s football is going in terms of the ambition, then I will be absolutely delighted to continue in this role.”

Phil Neville said his side were devastated by their World Cup loss to the United States
Phil Neville said his side were devastated by their World Cup loss to the United States (John Walton/PA).

Neville has emphasised the hunger there is for success after England’s pain of missing out on a first Women’s World Cup final with the 2-1 last-four defeat to eventual champions the United States last month.

“I’ve not had a holiday. We now want to win Euro 2021, that’s my goal, and ultimately I don’t want to rest until we bring success,” he said.

“We sent a form out to the players, a debrief form. We wanted them to fill it in and not one of them could even look at it, they were that hurt. They said, ‘We can’t revisit it, we’re disappointed’.

“The picture I’ve got in my office is of Jill (Scott), Lucy (Bronze), Steph (Houghton) on the floor in Lyon in the America game. That was our moment and we just fell a little bit short. We had the best 51 days of our lives, but we wanted it to be 52. So that is now the ambition.

Phil Neville and his team received a standing ovation on Centre Court at Wimbledon
Phil Neville and his team received a standing ovation on Centre Court at Wimbledon (Mike Egerton/PA).

“We got so close. I’ve watched the America game back 15 times and there were moments when we were so close, we had them. But there were other moments when their game management, their experience, their know-how of winning major tournaments was better than ours.

“Well done. Congratulations. (US boss) Jill Ellis should win manager of the year. But we are fast developing.”

He added: “We came back from the World Cup and we went to Wimbledon in a real angry, frustrated frame of mind, but we got a standing ovation on Centre Court.

“That was a realisation of actually we did probably achieve something – but it’s not what we wanted to achieve.”

And just like that, we're back 🎉

Two friendlies. 24 #Lionesses. pic.twitter.com/3HLPBSUqVo

— Lionesses (@Lionesses) August 20, 2019

Nineteen of the 23-player squad Neville had in France are in the 24-strong party selected for the matches against Belgium in Leuven a week on Thursday and Norway in Bergen five days later.

Striker Ellen White and goalkeeper Karen Bardsley miss out through injury, their Manchester City team-mate Scott has been rested and fellow midfielder Karen Carney has retired.

City goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck is in after training with the squad in France, and four players have received their first senior call-ups – Chelsea forward Bethany England, City defender Aoife Mannion, and goalkeeper Sandy MacIver and defender Anna Patten, who play for Clemson University and the University of South Carolina respectively.

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