England Women’s team manager Phil Neville says he wants England to be ranked world number one in the international game.
The Lionesses moved up to second place in the rankings table after their recent performance in the SheBelieves Cup held in America, where they were runners-up to world champions USA.
Now, as he prepares his squad at St.Georges Park, Burton ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Wales on Friday at St.Mary’s Stadium, Southampton, the England Head coach is aiming for the summit.
He said: “Everyone is delighted to be second.
“However, we want to be first in the world rankings so actually second doesn’t mean anything to me.
“I don’t want to be a killjoy but this is the first step of the ladder for me, first qualifying round game as coach, there are three points on offer and it’s a step closer to being where we want to be and that is in France next year for the World Cup.”
Neville, who took over from Mark Sampson as the manager of the Lionesses, is set to play his first game on home soil having taken charge of three games out in the United States of America.
It’s something that the former Manchester United defender is looking forward to.
He said: “I’m really excited.
“Obviously we’ve had three games but they were away in America. So I didn’t have the home supporters on my back. I was in the away end so I’m really excited.
“It will be a really good crowd down there. We are playing at a Premier League stadium, a stadium that I’ve got fond memories of personally as I played my 500th Premier League game there.
“So it’s a stadium I like and I think it will be a real special occasion.”
Neville has had to make some late changes to the squad with Jill Scott and Millie Bright dropping out forcing him to call up Jade Moore and Leah Williamson.
Meanwhile forward Fran Kirby didn’t train on Tuesday and is a major doubt for the game.
He said: “You’re always going to suffer injuries.
“However, I think what happening at this moment in time is that we’ve got great depth and some great young players coming through, which makes great competition for places.
“So I’m looking forward to seeing those who are fit as you focus on them and those who are not fit they have got to recover quickly.
“For those who are fit can they perform and produce the level of quality that we produced in the SheBelieves Cup.”
You can get tickets for Friday’s game here which are priced at £10 Adults, £1 Concessions and £18 for a family.