Gareth Southgate ‘not ready for journey to end’

Gareth Southgate ‘not ready for journey to end’

England will face Croatia in Moscow this evening in their first semi-final in the tournament since 1990, and Southgate does not expect his young team to freeze on the big occasion.

'The hunger of players has been there for everyone to see, we are proud of the style they have played.

After finishing second in their Group to fellow semi finalists Belgium, Gareth Southgate's side has incredibly found itself on the easier side of the draw, avoiding the likes of France, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, while Spain and Germany faced early elimination.

However, he is also determined to maintain the shape that England have so far demonstrated during the tournament. "His team-mates play at top clubs, it's going to be a hard task but if we're ready to give our all on the pitch like against Argentina, if we're compact, I don't believe there will be problems". Against Sweden (2-0 win in the quarter-finals) they were magnificent. "His movement, the positions he takes up, his pressing of the ball, his work-rate for the team, the winning of free kicks and corners", Sterling has been a great asset", Southgate pointed out.

"This was near my house opposite the school I used to go to", he said. Anyway, we won and the staff made this big thing about my lucky socks, saying I had to wear them next game.

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"I'll tell you a story about me and superstitions", Southgate said.

"I think there'll be a bit of nerves as the day comes but a bit of excitement as well because you know you've always dreamed of playing in a World Cup final".

"They're getting blamed for what my generation and generations that followed did".

"For us as a team, yes, it's another chance to create a small piece of history". We still needed the win but I thought, "No, it's ridiculous".

"If you look at all of our attacking patterns and the way that our front four have combined and played, he's been instrumental in that, so I think he's a player that's really appreciated by the team".

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