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England women have gone backwards since World Cup, says Neville

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By Reuters
England women have gone backwards since World Cup, says Neville
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Women's International Friendly - England v Germany - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - November 9, 2019 England manager Phil Neville reacts Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers   -   Copyright  ANDREW BOYERS(Reuters)

(Reuters) – England have gone backwards since their semi-final run at the women’s World Cup in June-July and fatigue can no longer be used as an excuse for their poor run of results, head coach Phil Neville said.

Neville was speaking after England lost 2-1 to Germany at Wembley in a friendly on Saturday which had a record attendance of 77,768 for a women’s match in the country.

England have won only one of their last seven games — away at Portugal — while they have lost against the likes of Brazil and Norway in recent months after their World Cup semi-final exit at the hands of eventual champions United States.

“Yes, I think so,” Neville told reporters when asked if England have gone backwards since their women’s World Cup campaign. “There is no hiding from that. One win in seven is totally unacceptable.

“We can talk about coming down from the emotional highs to feeling the fatigue and everything of the World Cup. But when you get into November that becomes an excuse and we’re not having any excuses.”

Neville, who took charge of the team in January 2018, took responsibility for his team’s failings and said they needed to find answers before their next match — a friendly match away at the Czech Republic on Tuesday.

“I’ve got to take responsibility for those results, I’m the one that picks the team,” he added.

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

“Ultimately the buck has got to start with me and finish with me because the team always reflects the manager. The results haven’t been good enough which means I’ve not been good enough. We need to do something about it very quickly.”

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)