Phil Neville pays tribute to Fran Kirby and Carly Telford on 'sentimental day'
Last Updated: 15/06/19 9:39am
Phil Neville paid tribute to "special" Fran Kirby after the midfielder's performance in England Women's 1-0 win over Argentina on what would have been her late mother's birthday.
Kirby produced a fine showing before being substituted late on in the victory which sealed their progression to the last 16 of the World Cup in France, and was pictured in tears at the final whistle before being embraced by Neville.
The Lionesses boss revealed he had referenced the sombre anniversary in the post-match huddle, and also singled out World Cup debutant goalkeeper Carly Telford, whose mother died at the end of 2018.
"We are a family," he told BBC Sport. "In the huddle at the end, we made reference to the fact that their mums were looking down on them and would be proud of them.
"We help each other, it's a sentimental day. Fran is a special person who misses her mum. We share their emotion, their happiness and their sadness."
Neville was left impressed with an England performance which was much-improved from their underwhelming 2-1 win over Scotland on Sunday, but still lacked composure in the final third.
He added: "I thought we played with confidence and composure like they have done for the past two days in training. Winning is a by-product of what you do during the week.
"Japan struggled to create chances against Argentina but we didn't."