England Women head coach Phil Neville is battling with fears after four of his key plays pulled out ahead of Tuesday’s friendly against Czech Republic.
Captain Steph Houghton, Alex Greenwood, Jodie Taylor and Ellen White will all be missing from the clash and Neville is not finding it funny especially after losing 2-1 to Germany in Saturday’s high profile friendly that saw 77,768 spectators on ground at the Wembley to savour the best of women football.
The Lionesses who finished in the fourth place at the last world cup in France, have only managed one victory in their last seven matches and Neville is eager to return to winning ways
Forward White, who scored for the Lionesses at Wembley, will be rested in order to manage her training load following a return from a recent knee injury.
It is a similar story for fellow Manchester City team-mate and national team Captain Houghton, but ankle and back injuries respectively rule out Lyon defender Greenwood and Reign FC striker Taylor.
Those who have been confirmed to be on duty against Czech are Millie Bright (Chelsea), Lucy Bronze (Lyon), Rachel Daly (Houston Dash), Mary Earps (Manchester United), Beth England (Chelsea), Lauren Hemp (Manchester City), Abbie McManus (Manchester United), Beth Mead (Arsenal), Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal), Nikita Parris (Lyon), Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City), Jill Scott (Manchester City), Lucy Staniforth (Birmingham City), Demi Stokes (Manchester City), Carly Telford (Chelsea), Keira Walsh (Manchester City), Leah Williamson (Arsenal).
Meanwhile World cup champions USA continue to shape up with international friendlies hammering Costa Rica 6-0 early Monday.
Some women football lovers believe it is an irony that top rated teams continue to make best use of friendly matches to maintain form while lowly rated teams especially African teams only manage to play friendly matches once in a while, describing their dreams of winning the world cup as one that will last a long time.
“You don’t just wake up and win the world cup, it take a lot of hard work, “said a women football supporter after watching the England versus Germany friendly. African Champions Super Falcons, who failed to pick an Olympic ticket after group stage ouster at the World cup, last played a friendly in April against Canada.