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  1. ITV Report

Phil Neville: 'I'm disappointed in myself over tweets but I am no sexist'

Newly appointed England women's football coach Phil Neville said he was "disappointed" in himself over controversial tweets he posted several years ago but insisted he is not sexist.

Speaking to ITV News, he said that the words he posted on Twitter in 2011 and 2012 "weren't right" then and aren't right now.

"It wasn't right and looking back I'm disappointed in myself. It's not a true reflection of me," he said.

Neville was forced to apologise one day into the job for tweets from his @fizzer18 account that appeared to be sexist and mocking domestic abuse.

Phil Neville said the tweet referred to playing a competitive sport with his wife while on holiday. Credit: ITV News

One of the tweets, in which he said: "Just battered the wife! Feel better now!" was relating to competitive sport that he was playing with his wife while on holiday in Miami.

But he admitted that the tweet in isolation, and others he posted that appeared to be sexist, were "not good" and showed "poor judgement at the time".

Phil Neville has apologised for the tweets. Credit: Twitter

"I grew up in a house with my mum, she was the first woman to play football for the town team with boys," Neville said.

"My sister is the England netball coach... so I know the sacrifices that my sister has made and the challenges she's had in her life to be successful so by no means am I a sexist."

Some have questioned whether Neville was also the most qualified for the job, given he has never worked in women's football before or been a manager.

Spells in senior coaching roles at Manchester United and Valencia have been followed by over 18 months out of a tracksuit role.

The former defender has coached former club Manchester United, England Under-21s and Spanish side Valencia.

But he said that he would use the same coaching skills he developed for men's football as he will for the women's team.

He said: "I'm coaching a women's team, I'm coaching a football team. And the messages that I'll be giving to my right back will be the same messages that I gave to Rafael da Silva or Joao Cancelo at Valencia.

"It's not different, it's a football pitch, the ball is the same size and we will play with a certain style."