Lionesses boss Neville takes responsibility for defeat by Germany

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 09: Head Coach of England Phil Neville looks on during the International Friendly between England Women and Germany Women at Wembley Stadium on November 09, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
England Head Coach Phil Neville (Credit: Getty Images)

Phil Neville insisted he takes full responsibility for England Women’s 2-1 defeat to Germany in front of a record-breaking crowd at Wembley.

An attendance of 77,768 was recorded, which smashed the previous best for a Lionesses home fixture, but fell slightly short of the best ever crowd for a women’s match in the UK.

Alexandra Popp put the Germans ahead after three minutes as Neville’s team struggled in the opening 25 minutes, but they managed to bounce back.

Nikita Parris missed a penalty before Ellen White produced a clever finish to level the tie. But Klara Buhl’s late goal gave the Germans an impressive record of 21 wins from 26 meetings between the sides.

England have now won just one game in their last seven matches, and Neville made no excuses for his side’s performance.

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“There is no hiding from that fact. One in seven is totally unacceptable,” said the England manager.

“It is not what I see as success and we need to do something about it very quickly. We can talk about the emotional highs about the World Cup, but when you get into November that becomes an excuse, and we’re not having any excuses.

England v Germany – Women’s International Friendly – Wembley Stadium
England Women’s manager Phil Neville (Credit: PA)

“In terms of where we’re at, what we want to achieve and where we want to go, it starts with me. I’ve got to take responsibility for those results.

“I’m the one that picks the team, I’m the one that sets the tactics, I train them. I talk to them. I communicate with them.

“I’ve got to take responsibility for those results, the buck has got to start and finish with me. The team reflects the manager and the team aren’t good enough (now) which means I’m not good enough.”

Neville also felt that the record-breaking crowd fitted the occasion but he would not be celebrating.

“If we had a game in three months’ time at Wembley, I think we would have the same crowd,” he added.

England v Germany – Women’s International Friendly – Wembley Stadium
England’s Ellen White, left, celebrates (Credit: PA)

“I think it was a fantastic spectacle and it was an amazing occasion.

“But look, I think sport is about winning or losing, we lost we’re disappointed and will probably let other people celebrate the occasion.”

Before their trip to Wembley, Germany had been on a great run with 31 goals in their last four matches, and their manager Martina Voss-Tecklenburg was pleased with her side’s performance against England.

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She said: “We started the game as we expected, with a lot of speed, really intense. The first 20 minutes we played really well, obviously it was great to go 1-0 up.

“Then probably let off the pressure a bit, and I think England attacked a lot more and then obviously got the penalty that Merle (Frohms) saved really well and then the equaliser’s not exactly what you want to see.

“But we changed a few things at half time and some of the younger players really gave it all, aiming to win and then the second goal from Klara Buhl won the game so happy with that.”

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