Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate admitted he had “no advice” to offer the England Women’s team ahead of the final as they have gone a step further than he has managed

Gareth Southgate has sent a message to the Lionesses

Gareth Southgate has sent a message to the Lionesses

England manager Gareth Southgate has wished the Lionesses well ahead of the Women’s World Cup final after he was criticised for not attending the showpiece event.

The Three Lions boss admitted he had “no advice” to offer the team that has gone a step further than he has managed. Speaking in a video posted on the Lionesses’ social media, Southgate said: “Hi to you all out there in Australia.

“You’re doing a brilliant job, so that’s the first thing, and of course, there is no advice because you’ve done more than us already, and you know what is needed to win. So all that remains is to wish you the very best for the final, and we hope you can bring that trophy back. Good luck everybody.”

Southgate’s sentiments were echoed by England men’s captain Harry Kane, who during the tournament completed a £100million move to Bayern Munich. He said: “Hi Lionesses, I just wanted to say best of luck for the World Cup final on Sunday. I’ll be watching.

“Amazing journey so far, you should be really proud of yourselves. We’re all behind you, all supporting you, we know you can do it, so go and get that World Cup win and bring that trophy home. All the best.”

Should England beat Spain in Sydney, Sarina Wiegman’s Lionesses will be crowned world champions for the first time since the men’s team triumphed in 1966, just under 13 months since they secured the European championship title – something the men have never done.

Wiegman is the first coach to lead two nations to a women’s World Cup final, having also done so with the Netherlands four years ago, and would join just Sir Alf Ramsey on a list of managers who have won a global title with England.

Southgate and the Prince of Wales faced a backlash over their decision not to attend the Women’s World Cup final with former England goalkeeper Pauline Cope branding the decision a shame. She also expressed her disappointment that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had not travelled to Sydney.

Cope said: “I will not have any bad words against the royal family. However, this should have been pencilled in his diary from day dot, after we won the Euros and qualified for the World Cup.”

Cope, who has 60 England caps and played in the 1995 World Cup, added on Times Radio: “Let’s be honest, if it was the men’s World Cup, they would all be here.”