Women's Senior
Women's Senior

England Women getting to grips with Phil Neville's style of play

Sunday 07 Oct 2018
Phil Neville has led England to the 2019 World Cup finals

Phil Neville said his England Women’s side are starting to get to grips with his desired style of play – Total Football.

Fran Kirby scored the only goal as the Lionesses defeated Brazil at Meadow Lane on Saturday.

It was England’s opening World Cup warm-up match, having completed yet another unbeaten qualifying campaign last month.

And the head coach was encouraged by the display.

England 1-0 Brazil
  • A Women's International
  • Saturday 6 October
  • at Meadow Lane

Neville said: “The quality of the football we're playing now is exciting.

“Players just need repetition in the system to get confidence in the system.

“I want us to play Total Football. I didn’t think we played Total Football through the thirds but there were periods where we did play into midfield then penetrate through the wide areas.

“If things go wrong will we revert to route one? No, we’re going to live and die by this style.”

England had a number of impressive performers in Nottingham, including Lucy Bronze, Millie Bright and Nikita Parris, but Neville reserved a special word of praise for the goalscorer.

He said: “I'd take my number 10 [Kirby] over Brazil's number 10 [Marta] every day, that's for sure.

The winner against Brazil was Kirby's 11th international goal

“There was a period after half time where I thought she was world class.

“I don’t think Fran realises how much she can keep going. She doesn’t realise her full potential yet.”

However, despite his satisfaction with the overall performance, Neville knows his side must be more clinical in front of goal if they are to make an impression at France 2019.

He added: “I'm disappointed we didn't score more than we did.

“We weren't ruthless enough. The players are disappointed in the dressing room. We didn't finish with composure.

“There's more room for improvement.”

England will have the chance to further impress Neville in just two days’ time, when they entertain Australia at Craven Cottage.


Tickets are priced £10 for adults and £1 for concessions.

By Glenn Lavery