French heatwave 'no problem' for prepared England

LE HAVRE, France -- France is braced for a heatwave but England manager Phil Neville is adamant it will not affect their plans to play high tempo football in their Women's World Cup quarterfinal having prepared for these record-high temperatures thanks to prolonged spells in saunas.

The Lionesses have said all along they are the best prepared team ever to try and win the Women's World Cup.

Schools in some regions of France are closing on Thursday as temperatures are set to push 45C while only low-emission vehicles are being allowed to drive in Paris and Lyon.

England are preparing for their quarterfinal against Norway on Thursday in Le Havre which will have slightly cooler temperatures, but Neville has no concerns over the impending heat and humidity.

"The provisions have been made," Neville said. "I always think it's such an English mentality to worry about the weather. You go around to see your grandma and it's hot today, it's cold today or it's sticky out there.

"I actually like it being hot, I really do -- my players like it being hot. We feel good in the heat. Yes, it's going to be a factor but we've planned for it."

"We've had two weeks in St George's Park where the players basically lived in a sauna -- literally the sauna, that's not no air conditioning at St George's Park. They've planned for it, training with thermals. We've planned and prepared every eventuality. We even planned what we saw in the Cameroon game.

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"We've had no surprises so far. We're fully aware it's going to be hot and one thing that won't happen, is the ball won't get tired if we keep passing it."

England's shrewd preparations were disrupted by a virus on Tuesday, with defenders Millie Bright and Lucy Bronze both doubts to face Norway.

Captain Steph Houghton is also a doubt due to an ankle injury she picked up against in the round of 16 tie against Cameroon.