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Neville angry as England lose ‘nonsense’ game in France


Lionesses Manager Phil Neville has described Third-place play-off as nonsense game after his side lost 2-1 to Sweden on Saturday.

The Lionesses arrived in France with hopes of going all the way but were beaten by the USA in the semi-final, forcing them to settle for a third place against Sweden which they again lost.

“We came here to win it and not finish fourth. Well done to Sweden but it is a nonsense game,” said Neville.

“What it leaves us with is that we have another 15-20% to go. This is sport. We have to come back in four years and be better.”

Neville received some criticism for calling the match a “nonsense”, with Manchester United keeper Siobhan Chamberlain – a member of the Lionesses squad which finished third in Canada four years ago – saying: “Try telling the 23 players who went to Canada that a bronze-medal match is a ‘nonsense’ game.

“Winning a medal at a World Cup is a great achievement and I guarantee you every player out there wanted a medal just as much.”

After being pressed on his description of the game, Neville added: “We came to this tournament to win gold. Throughout my life, winning is all that matters – not finishing second, third or fourth. My players feel exactly the same way as me on this matter.

“We’ve not disrespected this game, we wanted to win more than anything. But we wanted to win gold. That’s why I said it’s a nonsense.

“In 2015 we won bronze with a performance that was great and we celebrated and applauded.

“It’s now 2019 and we wanted gold. Since losing that semi-final we’ve been hurting because it was a vision that we had and accepting second best is something we aren’t going to do.

“I’m not disrespecting anyone. No-one remembers the losers, just the winners, and eventually we will be.”


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