England boss Gareth Southgate issues Euro 2020 rallying cry ahead of Croatia clash
Gareth Southgate has told his players they have four weeks to make this summer ‘their moment’. With England’s Euro 2020 campaign set to kick off against Croatia at Wembley at 2.00pm on Sunday, it is time for all the talking – including the political discussions that have surrounded the build up – to finally stop.
This is their chance to make history and put on the show that the country wants from them.
“Has this squad got what it takes to win the tournament? we will have to show that,” said England manager Southgate.
“Tournaments are about hitting form at the right time.
“Some of our youngest players have got experience of big games and we have to bring everything over the next four weeks.
“We’ve spoken in the build up so much about this and that but the players are just ready for the football.
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“They want the football to speak for them.
“This is a moment in our lives which is a rare opportunity.
“We recognise the moments when he can make a difference to people’s lives and we still think that is important.
“But now we want the story to be about the football.”
Southgate is refusing to rule out anybody from his team, even seriously crocked Harry Maguire.
“He is progressing really well – it is still a long shot but we are still checking him daily,” he added.
“He is further ahead than he thought he might be at this point, so we are certainly not going to rule it out.”
One other medical concern is the heat at Wembley, with temperatures around kick-off forecast to soar to 27 degrees.
“It puts an emphasis on us keeping the ball well,” he said.
“Historically, some of those opening matches, England have flown out of the blocks but have suffered later in stages of games.
“If we can make the opposition chase, then that is really important as well.”
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