Neville: World Cup semi-final defeat would represent failure for England

The Lionesses secured their place in the last four after a convincing 3-0 victory over Norway and next face the holders – the USWNT

Phil Neville believes England crashing out at the semi-finals of the Women’s World Cup would be a disaster. 

The Lionesses have reached the last four of a major tournament for the third consecutive time after goals from Jill Scott, Ellen White and Lucy Bronze secured the quarter final win against Norway. 

But the former England international insists a winning mentality is vital if his side want to progress and is not willing to countenance another last-four defeat. 

“A semi-final defeat would represent failure. This England team is ready to win now,” Neville told Sky Sports. 

“We have to develop the serial winner mentality. We have to develop that ruthlessness.

“The only way for us to go back home is as winners. If we don’t, we have to keep striving to understand that losing in a semi-final is not OK.”

Neville is looking to emulate the success of the U.S. women’s national team and assures his team are ready to go all the way. 

England will face the tournament favourites on Tuesday night in Lyon and Neville believes they have to be in the right frame of mind come match day. 

He added: “I don’t want us saying that there is no pressure on us. That’s the safe way to think. We have to be even braver.

“This is the game we wanted. We have always known that when we got to the World Cup, we were going to have to beat the USA if we were going to win the tournament.”

The 42-year-old has been praised for his side’s performances during the tournament but understands the squad will have to raise their game if they want to knock out the tournament holders. 

“We have got to be 20 per cent braver than we have ever been before to win this game,” he continued.

“We are not going to back away from this challenge. We have planned and prepared for this.

“We are in great shape. I don’t think they will look forward to playing us. If they are looking at teams who can challenge them, we will be number one or two on their list.”

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