England prepared for penalties – Stones

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June 27, 2021
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    England's John Stones tackles Czech Republic's Vladimir CoufalJohn Stones started all three of England's group games as they progressed without conceding

    Euro 2020 on the BBC
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    John Stones says England are prepared for penalties if Tuesday's last-16 tie against Germany goes that far.

    England have never won a European Championship knockout match in normal time and lost against Germany in a shootout at Euro 96.

    Current boss Gareth Southgate missed the crucial spot-kick in that semi-final encounter, as England were beaten 6-5 after a 1-1 draw in normal time.

    "With how we do it now, we've been practising so much," Stones said.

    "We've been practising on keeping that clear focus of what to do if your turn comes up."

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    England ended a World Cup penalty shootout hoodoo against Colombia in 2018, which Stones recalled, and said the practice they did during that tournament and this one will hold them in good stead.

    "I remember being seventh in the World Cup, after Eric [Dier]," said the Manchester City centre-back. "That was a scary moment.

    "But I was ready because of this process that we've always talked about. It's about making you as comfortable as possible in that situation.

    "Unless it's Harry [Kane] or the boys who take penalties for their clubs regularly, it's a zone that we've not stepped into before."

    Stones says the chance to make history is "at the forefront of our minds" heading into the knockout phase, after topping Group D with seven points.

    "I've said it so many times, but we – and I, really – wanted to change the way the nation looks at the team and English football," added the 27-year-old.

    "I think we've taken massive strides in that since 2018 and it's about doing it again. I don't think we should put any more pressure on ourselves.

    "There's a trophy to be won here that's never been won before and we should be super excited by that, and go in with that fearlessness that we've had over these years."

    Meanwhile, striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin says he is convinced captain Kane will show his "undeniable quality" at some point.

    Kane is yet to score and only had one shot on target in England's three group games.

    "I think he leads the line well, he's the captain, so he's probably the first person people look at to, kind of, criticise," said Calvert-Lewin.

    "But, for me, he's done it consistently for a few seasons now so I've got no doubt that he'll perform on the big stage.

    "I think from a creative perspective there's a lot more to come from us."

    Source

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