England Women's captain Steph Houghton defends Phil Neville after Germany Women defeat
Last Updated: 10/11/19 11:25am
Steph Houghton has defended manager Phil Neville following criticism of England Women's performance during their 2-1 friendly defeat to Germany Women.
Alexandra Popp headed in inside nine minutes for the away side with Ellen White equalizing for the hosts prior to half-time, but Klara Buhl snatched a late winner in front of 77,768 at Wembley - the highest ever for an England Women's home fixture.
After the game, Neville insisted that the blame for the Lionesses' home defeat sat solely with him, admitting that one victory in the World Cup semi-finalists' last seven games was "unacceptable".
However, defender Houghton believes the players should share the burden for the loss.
"I think some of it [criticism] has been really unfair, to be honest. As players we have to take a lot of responsibility," the Lionesses captain said.
"As individuals, our performances can be better, but we're all in it together and it's all about the players and staff and making sure we're on the same page.
"With the profile of Phil himself and obviously now the team, we know there will be criticism that comes our way.
"I think we can be a little bit more positive than we have been over the last few months, but ultimately the only way we will get positive remarks is if we keep winning."
The friendly was witnessed by a record-breaking crowd at Wembley, although it was just shy of the 80,203 that watched USA Women and Japan Women at the London 2012 Olympics, which was the largest crowd to watch a women's football match in this country.
"The fans were tremendous throughout and the moment Ellen put the ball in the back of the net, you couldn't hear anything at all. This is something we can remember, but we're disappointed with the result," Houghton added.
"I know people were watching us back at home during the World Cup and we had those that came out to France, but to see so many at Wembley was unbelievable and all I would say is stay with us.
"We are going through a bit of a tough time, but the intention of the girls is to work as hard as we possibly can and to take pride in wearing the England shirt.
"It's been a long process since the World Cup. We had massive highs over there and really low lows and as players it's important we continue to get back to form, but I'm realistic to know we don't need to be peaking at this moment in time.
"We have been criticised, which is rightly so, but I think you have to look at the bigger picture. We're bringing new players into the squad, we're trying new things and this is the time to experiment.
"Like probably Phil and all the other girls have said, we're a team that sticks together and we know the way and hopefully we can turn it around."