‘This group are different’ – Southgate lauds England’s ‘savviness’ after reaching Euro 2024 semi-final

England manager Gareth Southgate believes this current group of England players have the “savviness” that teams of the past have lacked.

The Three Lions reached the semi-finals of Euro 2024 with a penalty shoot-out win over Switzerland, Southgate’s third semi-final in the four major tournaments he has managed the country.

England also needed extra-time to beat Slovakia in the round of 16 and while Southgate accepts his side have not been at their best, he believes the resilience his team have shown means they are well placed to go all the way at the tournament.

“There’s what we ideally want to be and then there’s how we’ve needed to find ways to win with all the obstacles we’ve had,” Southgate said.

“Going back to losing players a couple of months ago, losing players just before the tournament, different balance of the team, different challenges all the way through, really.

“But as I said to the players, with England it was often start 25 minutes really well, ahead in games and then and then out in the early knockout rounds.

“We weren’t savvy, we weren’t tournament wise. This group are different. They keep possession for longer periods.

“We haven’t always got it right. The games we’ve ultimately gone out in people can always look back and highlight things.

“But, in general, we’ve shown the resilience that the teams that win tournaments have had for years and years.

“Italy, France, Spain, you know, it’s not all pure football. It’s other attributes that they’ve had and we’re showing a little bit more of that streetwise nature.

“We want to always be competitive in tournaments. England should be competitive for the coming years. This is a young team – a lot of them are going to be around for a long time.

“But, of course, now we want to deliver one. We’ve never been to a final outside of England, we’ve never won a Euros, so there’s two bits of history we’d love to create.”


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