England’s Lionesses beat some of the World’s best to get their hands the on the She Believes Cup, but does this mean they are destined for World Cup glory in the summer?
Steph Houghton and her side beat the likes of Japan, Brazil, and the USA to the trophy with two wins and a draw.
The Women’s World Cup starts in June as the world’s best head to France to battle it out for the famous trophy. Phil Neville’s side netted seven goals during the tournament, showing that their winning mentality is still there from four years ago.
The Lionesses finished third in the last World Cup in Canada, beating Germany after extra time 1-0 to claim a Bronze medal. Neville and his side will be looking to turn that Bronze into Gold come July 7th.
England will have to fight their way out of Group D if they have any chance of doing so. They will face Scotland, Argentina, and Japan. The Lionesses convincingly beat Japan on the way to She Believes glory with a 3-0 victory.
The likes of Beth Mead and Tony Duggen faced Scotland during the 2017 European Championships. They smashed them 6-0 on their way to the knockout stages with Jodie Taylor netting a hat-trick on the day.
Something which is very encouraging for Neville and his management team will be how his side handled themselves in tournament situations. Three games in the span of six days show that his side is more than ready for France in a few months time.
England has recently done well in tournament situations, reaching the semi-finals in the last two major tournaments. They lost out to the Netherlands two years ago at the Euros and then World Champions Japan in the World Cup four years ago.
Neville has done well to keep the majority of the squad together, adding youth to the ranks to better the side from four years ago. The addition of Neville himself was questioned by many but as a serial winner at Manchester United, he can only pass on positive things to his squad.
With a win in the She Believes Cup, he has silenced a lot of people who may have thought he couldn’t have taken this team any further. He will be hoping his side will take the confidence and momentum into the World Cup this summer. His side also showed great character throughout the tournament coming from behind twice on the way to victory. It will be vital that they stay focused and not underestimate teams throughout the tournament with England now looking like the team to beat, everyone will bring their A game.
The likes of Houghton, Lucy Bronze, Jill Scott, and Jodie Taylor have been vital for the Lionesses over the years and will be even more so now as they pass their tournament experience on to the likes of Nakita Parris and Georgia Stanway as the next wave of England starlets reaches the first team.
The World Cup preparations are off to a flyer for Phil Neville and his Lionesses and he will be hoping that can continue going into the warm-up games before another chance of glory in France.