SheBelieves Cup: Critics would love to see me lose every game, says Phil Neville

Some people want me to lose - Neville
SheBelieves Cup, England Women v France Women
Venue: Mapfre Stadium, Ohio. Date: Thursday, 1 March. Kick-off: 21:00 GMT
Coverage: Watch live on the BBC Sport website and red button

Phil Neville says some critics would like him to lose every game at the SheBelieves Cup in America, his first tournament in charge of England Women.

Neville was appointed in January, but had to apologise a day after taking the job for past tweets about women.

The ex-Manchester United and England defender's appointment was criticised because of his lack of coaching and women's football experience.

"I see this as a long-term project," Neville told BBC Sport.

"I don't think I should be judged solely on this tournament. There are probably people out there that want me to lose all three games, and say 'I told you so'.

"But I have got a four-year contract."

England start their campaign against France in Ohio on Thursday.

They then face Germany on Sunday, 4 March, and the hosts USA on Thursday, 8 March, in the four-team tournament.

Neville has only ever managed one game - at Salford City, a team he co-owns - but has coached former club Manchester United, England under-21s and Spanish side Valencia.

But he says he has the backing of the Football Association's head of women's football Sue Campbell, technical director Dan Ashworth and the governing body's board.

"They have invested a lot in me," added the 41-year-old.

'Stoney the link between players and me'

Casey Stoney playing for England
Casey Stoney last played for England against Denmark in July 2017

Casey Stoney, who retired from a playing career with England and Liverpool last week, joined Neville's coaching staff in the build-up to the tournament.

The former England captain, 35, won 130 caps and skippered the Great Britain team at the 2012 London Olympics.

"She's been there and done it, been to major tournament," said Neville. "The respect she has within the team is phenomenal, she is the link between me and the team.

"She's been coaching for the last 15 years, it's not something she just thought last Wednesday when she hung up her boots up.

"She is an outstanding coach."

Neville's tactics crucial for 'new era' for England - Stoney

'We want to win a World Cup'

The SheBelieves Cup pits the Lionesses against the best two teams in the world in USA and Germany, while France are currently ranked sixth.

England, who reached the semi-finals of last year's European Championships, sit third in the Fifa rankings.

"You can think 'wow, we've got three massively difficult games', or think that it is an opportunity to make an instant impact," added Neville.

Phil Neville
Phil Neville won 59 England caps

"I have set the bar really high in terms of the challenge I have set the squad, we've been to this tournament twice before and only won one game.

"We want to be the best team in the world and we want to win a World Cup, so we shouldn't come to this tournament with any fears that we can't compete and can't win games.

"I've challenged the team to win all three games. If we want to win a World Cup we have got to beat USA, beat Germany, beat France - these are our rivals."

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