Phil Neville 'texts England players every day' ahead of Wales match

England women’s head coach Phil Neville during 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Group 1 qualifier match between England and Wales at St.Mary’s, Southampton FC Southampton , England on 06 April 2018. (Photo by Kieran Galvin/NurPhoto)

Phil Neville texts each member of his England squad everyday as he keeps tabs on their lives ahead of a crucial game against Wales.

A win against Wales on Friday evening will give England automatic qualification for next year’s World Cup in France, and knock their opponents off the top of the table.

Neville was appointed manager of the England side in January and is under pressure to deliver results with one of the best teams in the world.

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The former Manchester United defender is making the most of the limited time he has with his players by setting up a WhatsApp group for every one them, which include him and some of his coaching staff.

Neville explained: ‘The biggest challenge I’ve got is when I’m not in camp, we spend 3-4 weeks planning and I said to my staff it’s painful.

‘I speak with my players every single day. It’s not me texting them, they are texting me and we’ve got this culture up and running. The WhatsApp groups are the only way we can get contact with them — we are in constant contact.

‘Sometimes it’s about life itself for me to know every facet of my players’ lives. You have to build relationships with your players.’

Squad member Lucy Bronze has praised Neville’s passion for communicating with his players, saying:  ‘Everyone feels really appreciated that he cares about you and that you are needed in the team.’

‘He lets us know we are going to help this team be successful and we have a good relationship with him.’