England captain Houghton a 'major doubt' for Norway clash

Mille Bright and Steph Houghton

Mille Bright and Steph Houghton

"Both are major doubts - Steph because of the tackle", Neville told a pre-match news conference.

"We're hoping she takes part in some of the training today - that's the key for Steph". Have you played against any of the 23?

"You guys (the media) have had an obsession with my rotation for the last 18 months", he said.

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"We can bring in two people who know the system and the have utter belief and confidence in each other".

"It is a seamless transition, you plan for these moments".

"There's been a plan behind it for moments like this".

In reserve are Leah Williamson and Abbie McManus.

"They've been the surprise team of the tournament because they weren't in the top 10 teams", Neville said. In terms of characteristics she is a (Ruud) Van Nistelrooy, (Alan) Shearer, (Michael) Owen.

Neville believes the 30-year-old has added predatory instincts to her game to help find the back of the net on a more regular basis.

"We have shown the world we can roll the ball in Norway as well".

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England is the favourites but Neville is wary of a Norway side who have reached the last eight despite being without exiled star striker Ada Hegerberg.

"What I would say is the players that we've played are for moments like this. They have probably been the surprise team of the tournament because people have been focusing on the top 10 teams in the world", he said, with the Norwegians now ranked 12th.

They took the lead after only three minutes when Bronze burst down the right flank and cut in from the byline.

"We're going to probably have to jump up 10 to 15 per cent in our performance levels to be successful in this game, and this tournament".

But Neville's preparations for the Norway game have been disrupted by a blow that could deny him England's first-choice central defensive partnership.

He added: "We have a lot of respect for the opponent". And then they probably thought 'you know what, we were mentally in the zone there - we were mentally strong.' And that's another barrier they have overcome.

Cameroon also dished out some rough challenges, and England's Toni Duggan was spat on.

Women's World Cup - Follow the Football match between Norway (W) and England (W) live with Eurosport.

"We don't think about losing".

"It was a very tough match last time".

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