England: Phil Neville says Lionesses 'crying out for competitive games'

Phil Neville and England captain Steph Houghton
England manager Phil Neville (left) is set to leave his role in July

England manager Phil Neville said his squad are "crying out for competitive games", after the first of their two training-camp matches on Friday.

The Lionesses were due to play Norway on 1 December at Bramall Lane, but that was cancelled because of Covid-19 travel restrictions for the visitors.

Their scheduled match against Germany in October was also called off.

England's last game was in March and Neville says he wants his players to "test themselves against the best".

Neville looked to dates in February and April where he hoped the Lionesses could play "top-quality opposition".

On Friday, he watched his players split into two teams for a match at Stoke's Bet365 Stadium - it finished 8-1.

"We have tried to be positive and think how lucky we are to have camps and play in stadiums like this," added the former England, Manchester United and Everton defender.

"But the players are crying out for competitive games where they can go out and test themselves against the best teams. That's what I really want."

Neville steps down as England manager in July before Netherlands boss Sarina Wiegman takes over in September.

It is yet to be decided who will lead the Great Britain team at the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which are due to begin on 23 July.

Neville said the Football Association's announcement on that is imminent, adding: "I don't know if it's going to be me.

"We just have to wait, the players have to wait and hopefully it will happen soon so they can concentrate on who their boss is going to be for Team GB and we all get that clarity."

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