Thursday, 19 July, 2018

Southgate: England to make as few changes as possible for play-off

England manager Gareth Southgate conducts the fans after his side's win over Sweden England manager Gareth Southgate conducts the fans after his side’s win over Sweden
Chelsea Rogers | 14 July, 2018, 05:00

"But there was still pressure to get out of the group, win a knockout game, win a penalty shootout".

"They coped brilliantly with that".

Also England wants to become third. We've raised expectation but that is OK because we've also raised belief.

All fans were happy their country playing a sport they say put them on the map. "There's an energy and connection that's back".

Croatia, meanwhile, have had a grueling path to the final, with all of their past three matches - against Denmark, Russia and England - going to extra time.

The two teams have already met at this summer's tournament in the group stage, with Belgium beating England 1-0 on June 28.

"We can confirm that a report has been filed in relation to chants of a possible discriminatory nature by English fans", said Federation Internationale de Football Association.

"It's the game of our lives to play in a World Cup final, a dream I've had since I was a kid".

"We will see how he is". "There's a culture that exists now that when we come together, we expect every new player to follow".

But despite his desire to begin work on the next tournament, Southgate conceded he may never recover from the nature of his team's exit from this World Cup.

Actor George Clooney injured in scooter accident in Italy
Clooney was reportedly in Sardinia filming a television miniseries adapted from Joseph Heller's World War II novel Catch-22. The actor was taken to hospital after he was hit by a auto on the Italian island but is expected to make a full recovery.

"The honest thing is it's not a game any team wants to play", Southgate admitted. Everyone trained this morning.

"It won't be exactly the same starting XI, but ideally we want to make as few changes as possible".

"I worked with him for two years as an assistant coach and sporting director at my club and it transpires that I have gone one step further".

For the record, European teams have claimed the third place in the past nine World Cups.

"This may have given us extra motivation, but this is football, you have to be dignified in victory and in defeat".

And pride is the overwhelming feeling towards this England team, who managed to unite a nation and reignite its love affair with the national team against all odds.

However, he admitted that only time would tell if this run to the last four in Russian Federation ends up being their high point. That felt so good for us here in Russian Federation, and united us more and more, just like it did in our country. Our aim is to build with a system now through the development teams.

However, winning at the junior level rarely foretells success.

"They didn't want to hide anything from us, and that is why that sanction was chosen".

Southgate admits it has been tough to come to terms with Wednesday's semi-final heartbreak at the hands of Croatia but he insists motivation will not be a problem this weekend. That's probably where we are. "We will try to impose ourselves and with a bit of luck it could be our day".

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