England Women’s manager Phil Neville was left fuming by his side’s second-half performance as they went down 1-0 to Spain in a disappointing end to their SheBelieves Cup campaign.
Alexia Putellas’ late header sealed the Lionesses’ fate in Texas, as Neville’s side suffered a seventh defeat in their last 11 games despite dominating for much of the match.
Both Ellen White and Nikita Parris were guilty of missing first-half chances at the Toyota Stadium, as England failed to turn their possession into goals, before they were made to pay as Putellas found the net with just seven minutes remaining.
And the lack of cutting edge irked Neville, with the former Manchester United man also critical of his side’s sluggishness.
“I’m frustrated, I’m a bit angry. It’s not good enough, the second-half performance. We started playing standstill football,” Neville said.
“I thought first half we controlled the game. In the last five minutes I thought we showed some urgency for the first time in the second half.
“The questions should be asked. I expect better. I expect more from a team I put onto the field in the second half.
“Even in the first half when there were some positive bits I always expect better, so I’ll always look at myself, I’ll reflect and take it from there.”
England end the SheBelieves Cup with two defeats – to USA and Spain – and an unconvincing victory over Japan sandwiched in between.
Despite that, Neville was keen to stress the positives to take from the trip, with a number of younger members of the squad given game time across the three matches.
Alessia Russo was given her debut in an England shirt, while Everton’s predatory striker Chloe Kelly continued to impress on the international stage after coming on with 20 minutes remaining against Spain.
But Neville was also keenly aware that the worrying recent run of results needs to come to an end soon.
“I thought the two kids who came on were sensational. [Alessia] Russo and Chloe Kelly played without fear and they played with no ego,” Neville said.
“They played with total humility and that was the biggest plus of the second half but apart from that, that second half was nowhere near good enough.
“There’s been some massive pluses, [goalkeeper] Carly Telford has been sensational in all games. I think Nikita Parris is getting back to somewhere near her best, there’s been some good individual performances but ultimately, we will be judged on our results.
“I’m not going to hide behind the fact this was a tournament where we wanted to experiment with younger players.
“They’ve come in and done really well but ultimately we’ll be judged on our results and I don’t think our results have been good enough. I take full responsibility for that.”