Harry Kane’s brace helped a magnificent England soar into their first Euro semi-final since 1996.
England manager Gareth Southgate believes that his players enjoy a fabulous opportunity to script history, considering the fact that the national team has never made it to the final of an edition of the Euros. Southgate believes that the team is playing with a lot of belief, with the footballers well aware of what is possible. At the same time, he urged his players to remember that they had a long way to go, despite the comprehensive win against Ukraine.
“We’ve got a fabulous opportunity. It’s a chance to make history, we’ve never been to a European Championship final. It’s not so much pressure for this team, it’s another challenge that they’ve got the chance to take on and at the moment they’re rising to those challenges. We’re now playing with a lot of belief and I think the players can see what is possible. We still have a long way to go and we are not satisfied. Tonight was another enjoyable night for everyone but I was already, before the end of the game, thinking of the next challenge,” he said as quoted by UEFA’s official website.
Southgate further discussed England‘s two set-piece goals, with some words of praise for Luke Shaw as well.
“We’ve talked a lot this week about set-plays. We’ve put more emphasis on it again and it looked like we were going to be dangerous in training yesterday. Very often that transfers into the game and that is what happened. I feel as if his performances have really improved every game. It’s understandable in that it was a long time he wasn’t with us. March was his first game with us for a few years and you often play in those games trying not to make mistakes rather than really going and flourishing. He (Shaw) feels comfortable in the environment now, he knows how we want to play. He knows he fits in with that and the delivery was great. We didn’t want to take a backward step. We wanted to really grasp the opportunity rather than hope we might win or let fate have a chance to play its part. I thought the players were decisive and ruthless all night,” he added.
The England manager acknowledged the painful memories that the English national team had to bear, over the years. However, he believes that the same helped his players prepare well for Euro 2020.
“Teams have to go on a bit of a journey and they have to go through some pain sometimes to be able to progress. We’ve had some great nights over the last four years but we’ve also had some painful nights and we’ve learned from all of those experiences and that has definitely helped us prepare for another tournament and prepare for the individual games. We have got more experience as a group of those sorts of games and individually the players have got experience of those games which is definitely helpful but we’ve got to do that now on Wednesday night. That is the challenge for us now. We had two games with Denmark in the autumn. I knew what a good side they were before and they’ve proved that again in this tournament. It is going to be a fantastic game to be part of,” he concluded.