Phil Neville admitted England Women were ‘beaten by the better team’ in a 1-0 loss to the United States but challenged his players to learn from the experience.
Karen Bardsley’s own goal condemned England to defeat in Orlando, in a match where a draw would have seen them win the SheBelieves Cup for the first time.
“There is no doubt we were beaten by the better team. I think the positive we can take is from that last 20 to 25 minutes,” Neville said in comments reported by Sky Sports.
“It seemed that once they scored we started to relax and play and show a little bit of character and belief but for 60 minutes it just felt as though we were waiting to be beat.
“I suppose this has been my most enjoyable game because I learnt a lot about my players. It was a top-end game against the best team in the world. They have good front players.
“I am proud of the way our players played but what I’ve said to them in the dressing room after that game is, ‘Remember this feeling that you’ve got now’, because in 12 months’ time when hopefully we’re in a World Cup, we can improve and be better than this team’.”
The goal came in the 58th minute when Millie Bright’s attempted clearance struck Bardsley and went into the net.
Neville’s side were close to an equaliser late on as Ellen White’s header bounced off the inside post, but they fell to a defeat which left them as runners-up in the competition.