Deflated England, Belgium get ready for third place clash

Posted July 14, 2018

They are a pleasure to work with. We are all friends and I want all the best for them. We know this is the biggest game of our lives and we want to leave the pitch with our heads held high and say we did everything.

"We've set a level of working and performing that we want to maintain and take pride in".

"I don't know (if he wants to play)", England boss Southgate said of a striker now leading the scoring charts with six goals.

But Southgate, who has been sensitive to ensuring the England team have a connection with fans in all regions of the country, suggested it wouldn't have been right to have a parade in just one city.

For Croatia, a semi-final was twenty years in the making.

"There is a culture that exists now that any new player that comes in has to follow".

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"It won't be exactly the same starting XI, but ideally we want to make as few changes as possible".

"But if we had a parade that would have been one part of the country and we represent the whole country as well".

"Frankly, I have this feeling there will be hundreds of millions rooting for us".

"The cup feels so close we can nearly touch it but there is still a lot to do to get there".

The England manager said that Kieran Trippier's injury, which forced him off the field in the final stages of extra time against Croatia, appeared to have been a combination of a nerve issue and cramp.

Though captain Luka Modric has been very much Croatia's star man throughout their run to the final of the tournament, it is Perisic who is most capable of providing the offensive spark capable of unlocking a French defence which has only conceded four goals at this summer's tournament. "How can he help the team to progress?"

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"There were low expectations this time that relieved the pressure, but nevertheless there was still pressure to get out of the group and pressure to win their first knockout game and pressure to win their first penalty shootout". If he had a different mindset, he'd have been insisting he played in the game.

"Three weeks ago, there wasn't even a connection with the England football team".

"I was born in 1966 so I'm a World Cup baby". They have real humility.

Asked about his in-game chatter with VIP guests, Infantino said: "When we are here we don't speak about politics, we speak about football".

"There are more commitments on the back of going out of the tournament as well".

England were left in the lurch after a gut-wrenching 1-2 defeat at the hands of Croatia after extra-time.

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