England’s poor run of form since the 2019 World Cup continued with defeat to the USA in their opening match of the SheBelieves Cup.
The hosts, reigning world champions and with their eyes on Olympic gold later this year, eased to victory with two quickfire second-half goals to leave Phil Neville to answer questions about how much of a gap still exists between his side and the standard bearers in international women’s football.
He told BBC Sport: "I still see a team willing to go out there and play against the best team in the world. The biggest obstacle is always the final bit - the last 1% or 2% - and going above them to try and beat them."
Defeat was a sixth in nine games for the Lionesses although Neville will point to the fact that his priority remains next summer’s European Championships on home soil and he felt that a young England side performed well for large periods of the game.
A number of former internationals, however, were quick to criticise the performance and claim that the team have 'gone backwards' since reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup.