Gareth Southgate lauds England’s ‘fabulous’ win over Ukraine as they reach their second semi-final in three years… but boss insists they are determined to go ‘two steps further’ than the 2018 World Cup by WINNING Euro 2020
- England are through to the semi-finals of Euro 2020 after a comfy 4-0 victory
- It is the second time in three years that they have reached a semi-final
- Gareth Southgate though has said the squad ‘aren’t satisfied’ despite the result
- England are hoping to reach their first ever European Championship final
- Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here
Gareth Southgate called on his ‘ruthless’ England heroes to finish the job after they crushed Ukraine to book a crunch Euro 2020 semi-final against Denmark.
The Three Lions are just two victories from glory after ruthlessly dispatching of Andriy Shevchenko’s men here in Rome courtesy of Harry Kane’s brace, Harry Maguire’s bullet header and Jordan Henderson’s first goal for his country.
The comprehensive triumph sets-up England’s second successive major tournament semi-final against the Danes, who defeated the Czech Republic in their quarter-final last night, at Wembley on Wednesday.
Gareth Southgate’s squad have qualified for the semi-finals of the European Championships
England produced a dominant performance in Rome to beat Ukraine 4-0 on Saturday night
And Southgate feels his team finally have the belief that they can go onto reaching the final of the tournament.
‘It’s fabulous. I suppose it’s still sinking in that it’s another semi-final – three in three years,’ he said
‘We want to go two steps further. I know what will be happening at home. We are now playing with a lot belief and the players can see what’s possible.
‘We still have a long way to go and we are not satisfied. Tonight is a really enjoyable night for everybody but I’ve got to say I was already thinking about the next challenge before the end of the game.
‘That’s the one for us – we’ve never been to a European Championship final, it’s another opportunity to make history.
‘It’s lovely to see everyone on a Saturday night, beer in hand. They should enjoy it. It’s been a long year for everyone. I’m chuffed the two performances have brought so much happiness to people.
‘We were ruthless and decisive tonight. It’s fabulous for our country – a semi-final at Wembley. Everyone can really look forward to that – it’s brilliant.’
Having reached the semis of the previous World Cup, victory on Wednesday would book England’s first major tournament final since 1966 – and captain Kane added: ‘It’s where we wanted to be.
Southgate is hoping to go ‘two steps further’ than their semi-final exit at the last World Cup
‘We set out a vision before the World Cup of what we want to achieve. We are knocking it off step by step. The World Cup was great but we fell short, we had a good run in the Nations League. We’re in another semi-final.
‘Now it’s about getting over the line, the next step that we have got to do on Wednesday.
‘We have more experience [than 2018]. We’ve been playing for our clubs in big games – Champions League finals, Premier League title races. We’re looking confident. Hopefully we can continue that.
The job is not done yet. There’s a lot more football to play.’
The comprehensive scoreline meant Southgate was able to rest the likes of Kane, Raheem Sterling, Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips ahead of the clash against Denmark.
‘We’ve known we had players we needed to look after physically. We’ve been able to introduce them.
Southgate was able to rest some key players as England took a comfortable second-half lead
‘We know across seven games the squad is so important, trying to give people a breather at the right time. We learned a lot from Russia in that instance. We were trying to balance players with knocks and yellow cards.’
Southgate also paid tribute his fringe players after last night’s euphoric victory, adding: ‘It’s a strange feeling. I’m thinking of the lads we didn’t get on the pitch – Conor Coady, Ben Chilwell, Sam Johnstone, Aaron Ramsdale, they’re the ones making this team successful.
‘The spirit in the group is phenomenal. Whoever comes in does the job, whoever isn’t in – it is really difficult to leave three out of the matchday squad – the squad mentality is fantastic. That’s uppermost in my mind, looking after those guys.
‘I’m spending more energy worrying about the three I have to leave out because they’re all good players. None of them deserve to be left out.’
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