Monday, 23 July, 2018

Gareth Southgate urges England players to 'write their own stories'

England fans have been warned to behave after an alleged fight with Germany GETTY ENGLAND VS BELGIUM Fans have been warned to behave
Sergio Cook | 03 July, 2018, 01:57

Personnel and tactical changes have been introduced by Southgate, and Rooney believes the signs are promising as England prepare to tackle Colombia in the second round on Tuesday.

England head coach Gareth Southgate.

Southgate was asked after the 1-0 defeat against Belgium in Kaliningrad whether his players had started practicing penalties and he replied the process had started in March rather than cramming in everything over a matter of days.

"At the level we're playing at here, being in an England camp or whether it is at the club, you have to really understand that and you can nearly take bits from other people's game to try and bring your own game on. He got it right most of the time last season but we need a bit extra to push for the title". There probably is another gear we can go to.

He later featured in a pizza commercial that mocked his miss along with Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle, who missed penalties in the 1990 World Cup semi-final shootout loss to West Germany.

Made of merino wool woven by the Alfred Brown mill in Yorkshire - which also supplied the fabric for England's 2014 World Cup suits and Team GB's uniform for the 2012 London Olympics - a full replica outfit costs £265.

Colombia's leading player, James Rodriguez, remains an injury doubt for Tuesday's fixture, and the 32-year-old Sanchez said: "If there is not James there is another one who can make a difference".

Elsewhere at England's team base, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard played a game of bowling in front of the cameras, laughing and having a good time.

Pressure got the better of them at Euro 2016, but Southgate has helped shape the mentality of a group facing what the manager calls England's biggest match in a decade.

"For some of them, this will be one of the biggest games they'll have been involved in, but maybe not the biggest. I can't speak highly enough of his character around the group", he said. "I think it's stupid not to practise, especially at this stage of the tournament".

"We do a lot of bonding stuff to really get to know each other and I think that's important as a team off the pitch, to get to know each other. I used to just dribble and stay wide and now I'm in the box more and getting more opportunities".

England haven't won a knockout game since 2006 but Kane, still No1 in the race for the Golden Boot, said that this young England stars could kick off a new era after years of failure.

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