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Women's World Cup 2019

England's Neville 'never satisfied' and 'tells us straight'

I'm sure some players want him to calm down a bit! – Walsh admires Neville desire

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Keira Walsh described England boss Phil Neville as a great personality while admitting some of the squad may want him to "calm down a bit".

England midfielder Keira Walsh said Lionesses boss Phil Neville is "never satisfied with any performance" but backed his determination to help deliver success at the Women's World Cup.

Neville strives for perfection

Neville's players got off to a winning start by beating Scotland 2-1 in Nice, where first-half goals from Nikita Parris and Ellen White ensured England survived a second-half fightback from Shelley Kerr's side, which features a number of potential stars of the tournament.

Manchester City playmaker Walsh, who anchored the Lionesses' midfield in their opener, said Neville's approach suited her despite his criticism of England's second-half display against Scotland.

"People know Phil Neville by now – he's never satisfied with any performance," Walsh told Sky Sports News.

"He just told us what he wasn't happy with and I think, as players, we already knew when we came off that the second half was not what we wanted it to be like.

"On a personal level I quite like being told what I'm not doing well. That lets you know what you need to be improving.

"I'm sure some of the players who are close to the touchline want him to just calm down a bit but he's a great personality and he really drives the team. He knows what it takes to get to the top.

"Looking at the other games it has probably been quite a slow start to this World Cup. There's no reason we can't do what we've set out to do."

Neville is hopeful that defender Demi Stokes and forward Toni Duggan will shake off injuries in time to be available for selection when England face Argentina in their second Group D match on Friday.

England confidence is growing

Left-back Alex Greenwood said she has confidence in Neville's ability to motivate England no matter who is picked in Le Havre.

"He's got the balance right with the group," said Greenwood. "Everyone's different and everyone reacts in different ways but we know Phil well enough now to know that it's in the best interests of the team.

"We know why he's doing it. He's so good at telling us straight, 'listen, this isn't good enough and this is how it needs to be'.

"He's also great at going, 'you know what? You played really well'.

"He has the balance so great we know it's never anything personal. We know it's in the best interests of the group."

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