Ellen White: England Women forward praises boss Phil Neville's impact on her game

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England Women striker Ellen White reveals how Phil Neville has helped her to progress as a player

England Women forward Ellen White has praised the influence head coach Phil Neville has had on her game, despite initially being sceptical about his tactical advice.

Neville has been in charge of the Lionesses since January 2018 but he will not be renewing his contract with the Football Association and will step down when his current deal expires in July 2021.

White was the joint-top goalscorer at last year's World Cup with six goals and she revealed to The Football Show on Sky Sports that Neville's coaching helped her to that achievement.

Asked how much Neville has helped develop her game, she replied: "A lot to be honest.

"He first came to me and said just stay in the width of the 18-yard-box, which he started probably a year before the World Cup.

"That really got to me because I like to run everywhere, I like to help and I like to get on the ball, so I was a bit resistant to it.

Ellen White celebrates scoring for England against Norway in the Women's World Cup quarter-final
Image: White scored six goals at the 2019 Women's World Cup

"But it started to come to fruition when I was scoring more goals in the 18-yard-box so I started to work on that more.

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"When I was at the World Cup I was really developing my game. I was running a little bit less, being more efficient in the way I was moving and being really precise in the timing of my runs to be within the width of the 18-yard-box at all times.

"I worked really hard on the training pitch on those awkward finishes, so someone would throw me the ball and I'd just try and get something on it to hook it in, and that's what's really developed my game.

Ellen White's 36th goal for England settled the game in New Jersey
Image: White has scored 36 international goals in 92 appearances

"I've worked on having that one-touch finish, watching how goalies perform and I think I've really developed that over the last couple of years and that's been really important for me."

England reached the semi-finals of last year's World Cup before being knocked out by eventual winners the United States, as Neville's side finished fourth - their second-best performance at the competition.

White, who plays for Manchester City in the Women's Super League, believes the tournament in France was a huge positive in the development of the women's game.

The 31-year-old said: "The growth of the women's game has been incredible. You've seen at the World Cup how many people wanted to watch women's football and get on board.

"I've had so many people coming up to me and saying, 'I could've watched Coronation Street but I watched women's football!' and for me that's the best thing ever.

"It's been an incredible journey and there's hopefully only bigger and better things to come."

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