Tennis England captain Houghton defends head coach Neville after defeat

England captain Houghton defends head coach Neville after defeat


England Women’s captain Steph Houghton jumped to the defense of under-four head coach Phil Neville after Saturday’s historic match with Germany at Wembley.

Klara Buhl struck in the 90th minute to give the visitors a 2-1 victory and make it five defeats in seven games for the Lioness.

The fixture was played out in front of a record crowd of 77,768 – the highest ever for an England women's home appliance, but it did not fall below the overall record for a women's match hosted in this country.

While it was a fantastic occasion when many children saw Wembley for the first time, the focus turned to the ex-Manchester United defender after another loss.

But Houghton said: "I think some of that (criticism) has been really unfair to be honest. As players, we have to take a huge responsibility.

“As individuals, our performance may be better, but we're all together, and it's about the players and the staff and making sure we're on the same page.

“With the profile of Phil himself and obviously now the team, we know there will be criticism coming our way.

"I think we may be a little more positive than we have been in the last few months, but in the end, the only way we can get positive comments is if we keep winning."

Germany had just three minutes to open the scoring when Alexandra Popp went home to penalize England for a flawed start.

Neville's team looked overwhelmed during the opening exchange, and he was visibly angry, but they regrouped and leveled a minute before halftime when Ellen White threw home a wonderful post from Keira Walsh.

Nikita Parris also failed to score from the penalty spot in the 36th minute and it would return to the lioness.

With the end of the game, Buhl, who had a goal ruled out for offside with 61 plays, dipped into the corner to send the record crowd of 77,768 home after seeing England suffer a defeat.

“The crowd was huge throughout, and the moment Ellen put the ball behind the net, you couldn't hear anything at all. This is something we can remember, but we are disappointed with the result, ”Houghton added.

"I know people saw us back home during the World Cup, and we had them coming to France, but seeing so many at Wembley was incredible, and all I want to say is stay with us.

“We are going through a bit of tough time, but the girls intend to work as hard as we possibly can and that we are proud to have the English shirt on.

“It's been a long process since the World Cup. We had tremendous highs over there and really lows, and as players it is important that we continue to get back into shape, but I am realistic to know that we do not need to reach the top at this point.

“We have been criticized, which is right, but I think you have to look at the bigger picture. We bring new players into the team, we try new things, and it's time to experiment.

"As probably Phil and all the other girls have said, we are a team that is connected and we know the way and hopefully we can turn it around."

. (TagsToTranslate)


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