the moment against Colombia

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: 03.01.2018
: 214

: 09, 2018 11:51 
: the moment against Colombia

Gareth Southgate has urged his players to write their own stories by steering England to a first knockout win at the World Cup in 12 years as his team seek to get past Colombia at Spartak Stadium and into the quarter‑finals.

The national manager is acutely aware of Englands wretched record in knockout ties in the Brett Kulak Jersey World Cup, with only Denmark and Ecuador having been beaten since Bobby Robsons side reached the last four in 1990. Yet rather than consider that dismal record as a burden, or be tempted into looking at an apparently favourable draw that would Andre Reed Jersey take England deep into the tournament, the hope is that this young side will be spurred by the chance to eclipse the achievements of previous, more experienced teams.
Southgate has described the game with Colombia, ranked four places below England, as the nations biggest game for a decade.
He added: The point I was making was its been over 10 years since we won a knockout fixture. For this team, its a brilliant opportunity to go beyond where more experienced teams have gone before. Theyre relishing that chance. Were viewing the game as one with an opponent we really respect. Theyve got really good players and will have lots of supporters in the stadium. I went to two of their matches in Brazil and it was a real carnival atmosphere.
We have to concentrate on our own football, playing in the Nick Jensen Jersey style we have throughout the tournament, and playing with the same mentality. We have to show the resilience and the freedom weve played with up to this point. I want the players to continue to attack the tournament as we have. That shouldnt 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 expected to revert to the team who defeated Tunisia in their opening Group G game, with Dele Alli fit after missing the past two games with a thigh strain. Harry Kane, one of eight rested against Belgium, will return to captain the side and will aim to maintain his staggering scoring record wearing the armband, with manager and players alike anxious to avoid being distracted by what could lie ahead after the last 16. Finishing second in their section appears to have opened a more straightforward passage to the semi-finals, but Colombia, who will check on the fitness of James Rodríguez late-on, represent distinctly awkward opposition.
Englands survivors in the England squad from Euro 2016 can recall the humiliation suffered against Iceland. Southgate implied the teams approach in Nice may have been undermined by complacency, with thoughts drifting to a potential quarter-final against France in Paris, and stressed his team would not fall into that trap again. The focus is on Colombia alone.
We focus on the match, on our own performance, and everything will fall into place from there, Southgate said. Maybe the teams who arent here werent as strong this time. That means the ones left have hit a level of performance thats very high. If teams knock out the likes of Germany and Spain, then they have to be respected. We feel were one of those countries with players coming through, but we havent discussed anything beyond Colombia.
Were always trying to prepare the team psychologically, get them in the right mindset for every game, if they need a push or to be calmed down, whatever it might be. Thats the art of coaching. Thats what our staff are there to do. What we sense in the group is an excitement; an understanding that its pointless looking beyond this match and that was a trap weve fallen into in the past. You can see how tight all the knockout matches are.
If youd asked me a couple of months ago whether I knew exactly what to expect from my team, Id 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 Im confident well see a really good performance.
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