Ellen White reveals the inside story from the England dressing room after World Cup exit

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England star Ellen White was ‘heartbroken’ after the Lionesses were knocked out in the semi-finals of this summer’s Women’s World Cup.

The Manchester City striker says there was an overarching sense of disappointment in the dressing room, and many of the England stars had believed that they were going to win the World Cup.

England went into the World Cup in France hoping to build on their third-place finish fours year previously.

But, Phil Neville’s side came up against eventual-winners and reigning champions USA in the semi-finals, and lost 2-1 in Lyon.

White revealed that the players thought they had failed after the defeat, and were genuinely aiming to come back to the UK with the World Cup trophy in their possession.

“Heartbreak [in the dressing room]. Disappointment,” White exclusively told Express Sport, when asked about the reaction to the semi-finals defeat. “We believed, we genuinely believed, that we were going to win the World Cup.

“We had so much belief, desire. Sitting in the changing rooms and looking round at the talented squad we had, and the preparation that we did, we really believed that we could beat USA.

“It’s just those tiny margins that really keep you from winning and losing major championships.

“The overriding feeling was just major disappointment. We felt like we failed, really. Which is sad, but that’s how far England have come, that we genuinely felt like we were going to win.”

Looking back on the Lionesses’ adventure in France, however, the City forward admitted that there was a lot to be proud of.

The Lionesses won all three of their group games, despite tough opposition from Scotland, Argentina and Japan.

They then beat Cameroon and Norway in the round of 16 and quarter-finals, respectively, both of which were 3-0 wins.

White herself finished as joint-top goalscorer in France, scoring six goals in seven matches.

England didn’t manage to retain their bronze medals this summer, however, having lost the third-place play-off to Sweden.

“Obviously two or three days later we had to pick ourselves up for the bronze medal match, and that was a tough one to try and pick yourself up from,” said White.

“But on reflection, looking back now, we can be really proud of what we achieved, and especially the amount of support and the coverage.

“England really jumped on the World Cup and got behind us. That’s something that we can be really proud of as well.”

White is still recovering from a knee injury that she picked up after the World Cup, but she’s now well into her rehab and recovery schedule.

She’s hoping to wear her new City colours very soon, having made the switch from Birmingham City this summer.

Earlier this summer, England legend Fara Williams backed White to ensure Nikita Parris’ departure for Lyon did not hit City too hard.

“Oh yeah, Ellen’s a proven goalscorer,” Williams exclusively told Express Sport. “What you saw from Nikita this year is that she can score goals and Nikita’s had a fantastic season for Man City and I think the rewards are a massive move to Lyon.

“But consistently, over the years, Ellen White for Arsenal, for Birmingham, for Notts County, for England, she’s a goalscorer, she’s been scoring goals.

“With the quality she’s gonna have around her at Man City, I see that as a fantastic signing for Man City and with the Champions League it’s an important signing for them.”

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