England Women slumped to their seventh defeat in just 11 games as they fell to a late Spain winner in Dallas on Wednesday.
Alexia Putellas scored in the 83rd minute in their final SheBelieves cup fixture as Phil Neville’s side failed to retain the trophy they won last year.
The USA were crowned champions for the third time since its creation in 2016 after they beat Japan 3-1 – Megan Rapinoe, Christen Press and Lindsey Horan were all on target for the tournament hosts.
The Lionesses have now won just three times since their World Cup quarter-final victory over Norway last summer, raising doubts over Neville’s future as manager.
Speaking to the BBC earlier in the week, Neville insisted that anything less than six points in the competition would have been disappointing, and admits questions “should be asked” following their underwhelming performances in the States.
“We will be judged on results,” he said.
“I don’t think results have been good enough and I take full responsibility for that.
“The questions should be asked. I expect better of a team I put on the field. I’ll go away and reflect and I’ll take it from there.”
These questions come at a critical time for the Lionesses, as they prepare to host the 2021 European Championships, and stray far from the simple ‘where are we going wrong?’.
Instead they need to decide if Neville should continue in his role as manager ahead of the Euros.
Despite being lead by an experienced star-studded attack of Toni Duggan, Ellen White and Nikita Parris, England never looked like scoring against Spain, and having scored just once in the competition, the players seem to have had little direction – lost with the ball at their feet.
The players will not meet up again until next month, which will be their only camp before this summer’s Olympics and could be Neville’s last chance to get the best out of an experienced squad.
Captain Steph Houghton is also aware her and her side must improve on their recent showings, but is optimistic they can turn their fortunes around.
She said: “Everyone has been quick to criticise us in the last six months, we’re a new team with young players coming through. We’ve been together seven days and we have to keep the standards high.
“We’re in it together. It’s not about the younger players or the older players it’s about us as a team. We’re just not getting the rub of the green at the moment – we have to get back to what we do best and that’s winning games for England.”
Neville and his players will next be in competitive action in July when the Olympics get underway.
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