Breaking News


England Manager Southgate Confident as Team Prepares for Euro 2024 Semi-Final Against the Netherlands

Berlin, July 10, 2024, The Europe Today: England manager Gareth Southgate has acknowledged the intense pressure his team faced at the start of Euro 2024, but he believes they are now poised to make “history” as they gear up for a semi-final clash against the Netherlands.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s match, Southgate admitted that his team initially struggled under the weight of high expectations. England’s journey through the tournament has been challenging, with a record of one win and two draws in the group stage, followed by narrow victories over Slovakia and Switzerland.

“One of our strengths over the years has been having less fear, showing less inhibition,” Southgate remarked. “But at the beginning of the tournament the expectation weighed heavily and the noise from outside had never been louder.”

Captain Harry Kane echoed Southgate’s sentiments, emphasizing the importance of leveraging past experiences in high-stakes matches. “I just think during the game you lean on experience, the leaders who have been there and done that,” Kane said. “Ultimately, it’s about going out there and taking the opportunity with both hands.”

Kane highlighted the significance of potentially reaching back-to-back European Championship finals, calling it “an amazing achievement.” He acknowledged the increasing pressure but noted that it can serve as a motivational boost for the players.

“As we’ve been getting better the expectation gets higher,” Kane added. “Some will use it in different ways, some will use it as motivation, some will just block it out and focus on what they need to do. Everyone’s different.”

England’s semi-final opponents, the Netherlands, faced logistical challenges arriving in Dortmund, resulting in a canceled pre-match news conference. Southgate remains focused on the game, stating that substitutions will be made based on the flow and demands of the match.

“You are always looking at the freshness of the team and the balance of the team and whether changes are going to make an improvement to the team or not,” he explained. “The game will take us in a certain direction that will make that decision for us.”

Defender Luke Shaw, who made a return from a four-month injury in the win against Switzerland, remains a game-time decision for Wednesday’s match. Southgate said they “have to decide” if Shaw is “ready to start.”

Addressing concerns over the appointment of German referee Felix Zwayer, previously criticized by Jude Bellingham for his match-fixing past, Southgate expressed confidence in Uefa’s selection process. “I have no concerns about who the referee is,” he stated. “He will be at a very high standard because that is how Uefa makes those decisions. It’s not even a consideration.”

The winners of Wednesday’s semi-final will face Spain in the final on Sunday, following Spain’s 2-1 victory over France. As England prepares for this crucial match, Southgate and his team are determined to seize the opportunity and continue their journey toward European glory.