Steph Houghton: England captain can win 70 more caps says Phil Neville

By Tom GarryBBC Sport
'This is for my family' - Houghton reaches 100 England caps

Captain Steph Houghton can win as many as 70 more caps for England, says head coach Phil Neville after she made her 100th appearance on Sunday.

Neville's side lost 2-0 to Sweden in Rotherham as the 30-year-old became the Lionesses' 11th centurion.

But Neville says the result was more on her mind than the landmark.

"The type of person she is, she is more worried about how the team are and how we can react to this and improve," Neville told BBC Sport.

"Steph's not bothered about her 100th cap - she wanted just to play the game.

"Her overriding emotions today will be that she wanted to win the game of football, because she is going to go on to play another 50, 60, 70 caps.

"You always want to celebrate something as special as today with a victory, but it wasn't to be.

"I still think it's a fantastic achievement. It doesn't take anything away from her achievement at all."

Should Houghton earn the number of caps Neville suggests, she would get close to overtaking the tally of Reading midfielder Fara Williams, who is England's most-capped player with 170 appearances.

The Manchester City skipper has been a stalwart for the Lionesses since she won her first cap against Russia in March 2007.

But Sunday's game was ultimately not the celebration many of the lively 9,561 fans at Rotherham's New York Stadium were hoping to see on the day of her landmark 100th senior appearance.

The visitors' robust defensive display inflicted the Lionesses' first defeat on home soil since 2015, and just a second loss in 12 matches under Neville.

Olympic silver medallists Sweden are ranked ninth in the world, six places below Neville's side, before next summer's Women's World Cup in France.

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