Phil Neville flattered by reported United States interest

By Sports Desk September 03, 2019

Phil Neville acknowledges he has been flattered by reported interest from the United States women's team but insists there has been no approach from the world champions.

Neville guided England to the semi-finals of this year's Women's World Cup, where they lost to the USA.

Victorious coach Jill Ellis will leave her role with USA at the end of October, though, and reports in England this week claimed Neville was a leading candidate.

But the ex-Manchester United defender, who is under contract with the Football Association until 2021, says his focus is on the 2020 Olympic Games, where he will lead Great Britain.

"There's been no approach," Neville told BBC Sport after England's 2-1 friendly defeat to Norway. "My focus is on winning us a gold medal in the Olympics.

"Beyond that, it's flattering because it means you're doing a good job. But my focus is England. I love this job, as I said before the game, and we've got a big job to do.

"We can see over the last two games [including a draw with Belgium last week] that the work is still in progress and we've still got a long way to go."

Neville was this week nominated for the FIFA's Best award for the top women's coach.

Afterwards, speaking ahead of the Norway game, the former England international defended his record and claimed England were lucky to have him.

"I have a vision that nobody else has," he said. "I've got bravery that no other coach has probably had.

"So, do you know what? Thank your lucky stars. I'm here. I'm here to stay. And I'm going to continue to keep improving.

"I've got a long way to go but I think, with the set of players we've got and with my philosophy, I think we can go a long way. I live and breathe it."

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