Gareth Southgate has urged his players to “write their own stories” by steering England to a primary knockout win at the World Cup in 12 years as his staff search to get previous Colombia at Spartak Stadium and into the World Cup quarter-finals.
The nationwide supervisor is conscious about England’s wretched report in knockout ties in the World Cup, with solely Denmark and Ecuador having been overwhelmed since Bobby Robson’s facet reached the final 4 in 1990. But reasonably than take into account that dismal report as a burden, or be tempted into an apparently beneficial draw that might take England deep into the match, the hope is that this younger facet might be spurred by the likelihood to eclipse the achievements of earlier, extra skilled groups.
Southgate has described the recreation with Colombia, ranked 4 locations beneath England, as the nation’s “biggest game for a decade”.
He added: “The purpose I used to be making was it’s been over 10 years since we received a knockout fixture. For this staff, it’s a superb alternative to transcend the place extra skilled groups have gone earlier than. They’re relishing that likelihood. We’re viewing the recreation as one with an opponent we actually respect. They’ve obtained actually good players and can have a lot of supporters in the stadium. I went to two of their matches in Brazil and it was an actual carnival environment.
“We have to concentrate on our own football, playing in the style we have throughout the tournament, and playing with the same mentality. We have to show the resilience and the freedom we’ve played with up to this point. I want the players to continue to attack the tournament as we have. That shouldn’t change in the knockout stage. We should feel freer, if anything, because these are the sort of matches you want to be involved in. The lads have the chance to write their own stories now.”
England are anticipated to revert to the staff who defeated Tunisia of their opening Group G recreation, with Dele Alli match after lacking the previous two video games with a thigh pressure. Harry Kane, one of eight rested against Belgium, will return to captain the facet and can intention to keep his staggering scoring report carrying the armband, with supervisor and players alike anxious to keep away from being distracted by what may lie forward after the final 16. Ending second of their part seems to have opened a extra easy passage to the semi-finals, however Colombia, who will test on the health of James Rodríguez late-on, characterize distinctly awkward opposition.
England’s survivors in the England squad from Euro 2016 can recall the humiliation suffered against Iceland. Southgate implied the staff’s strategy in Good might have been undermined by complacency, with ideas drifting to a possible quarter-final against France in Paris, and burdened his staff wouldn’t “fall into that trap again”. The main target is on Colombia alone.
“We focus on the match, on our own performance, and everything will fall into place from there,” Southgate mentioned. “Possibly the groups who aren’t right here weren’t as sturdy this time. Meaning the ones left have hit a degree of efficiency that’s very excessive. If groups knock out the likes of Germany and Spain, then they’ve to be revered. We really feel we’re a type of international locations with players coming by, however we haven’t mentioned something past Colombia.
“We’re all the time making an attempt to put together the staff psychologically, get them in the proper mindset for each recreation, in the event that they want a push or to be calmed down, no matter it is likely to be. That’s the artwork of teaching. That’s what our employees are there to do. What we sense in the group is an pleasure; an understanding that it’s pointless trying past this match and that was a lure we’ve fallen into in the previous. You’ll be able to see how tight all the knockout matches are.
“If you’d asked me a couple of months ago whether I knew exactly what to expect from my team, I’d have been a bit more uncertain. But the more we work with this group of players, the more consistent their performance is. We are a young side, the least experienced in the tournament, but we have some old fogeys as well who can provide the leadership. They are really hungry and want to do well … I’m confident we’ll see a really good performance.”