Semi-final ‘very special opportunity’

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July 6, 2021
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    England have 'very special opportunity' in semi-final – Southgate

    England have a "very special opportunity" to make the country happy when they face Denmark in their Euro 2020 semi-final on Wednesday, says manager Gareth Southgate.

    A 4-0 quarter-final win against Ukraine in Rome on Saturday sent Southgate's side through to the last four.

    They now return to Wembley – the site of their last semi-final appearance in the men's Euros 25 years ago.

    "England matches bring families and communities together," said Southgate.

    Speaking to BBC sports editor Dan Roan, he added: "The opportunity to bring happiness and create brilliant nights for our fans, our nation, is a very special one that you have when you play with England.

    "They are matches that you remember where you were and some of the nicest messages you get are that people appreciate how the players have been – that they feel they can connect with them – they should be very proud of that."

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    Victory for England on Wednesday would see them reach the final of a major tournament for the first time since winning the 1966 World Cup.

    Asked what it would mean to him to reach the final, Southgate said: "It's what it means to the country really.

    "If you're a coach it's a bit like being a parent – you've gone past the moment when it's about you and it's about what you pass on to others."

    Harry MaguireMaguire scored England's second against Ukraine on Saturday night

    'Hurt' can inspire England – Maguire

    Three years ago, England lost 2-1 in the World Cup semi-final against Croatia in Moscow.

    And Manchester United defender Harry Maguire said they "need to make sure" there is not a repeat of that result on Wednesday.

    "The motivation is there," Maguire said. "Losing the semi-final at the World Cup hurt a lot."

    Maguire, who has recovered from an ankle injury to start England's past three matches, said Southgate's squad have improved significantly since the World Cup.

    "I think we're in a lot better place than we were," he said.

    "The experience of that, we've learnt from it. We've had a lot of big games in that period to improve and a lot of time spent together on the training pitch, friendlies and qualifiers. Every game we play we feel we improve.

    "In this tournament, from the first game to the Ukraine game, there's a lot of differences in the principles that we're demanding from each other. Of course we're in a better place now, but we've still got a long way to go."

    "We want to create our own history" – Trippier

    Kieran TrippierTrippier says the team have "another big task against Denmark in front of us."

    Defender Kieran Trippier, whose free-kick goal gave England fans early hope during the 2018 World Cup semi-final, says he has "no regrets" from then and is now focusing on demonstrating the progress they have made since then.

    "We are in a position now where we just want to create our own history. That's all we want to do.

    "There are only maybe six or seven of us from the World Cup team. We've got so much good young talent.

    "It is there for everyone to see the attacking players we've got. I think we've taken that step forward from 2018".

    The Atletico Madrid player said he will not be letting the occasion get to him when they face Denmark on Wednesday evening.

    "I don't get nervous… I've played in a lot of big games now, so when I come into semi-finals it's just excitement. You are seeing the place, you are seeing the whole nation.

    "Everyone is buzzing and it's just good to see smiles on everyone's faces and after the year-and-a-half that we've all had it's good to them all smiling again."

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    1594 commentsShowLatestOldestHighest RatedMost Replied

    • D

      Comment posted by DaveP1982, at 18:09 5 Jul

      You have to smile at the haters who say we haven’t beaten anyone yet.. we beat Croatia and Germany but because we won they suddenly become not very good. If we were to actually win it we’ll be accused of having an easy ride. It’s not our fault some other countries aren’t as good or fail to deliver! Looking forward to Wednesday hope it’s a good game51864

      • D

        Reply posted by DG, at 18:18 5 Jul

        "You have to smile at the haters who say we haven’t beaten anyone yet.. we beat Croatia and Germany but because we won they suddenly become not very good. If we were to actually win it we’ll be accused of having an easy ride. It’s not our fault some other countries aren’t as good or fail to deliver! Looking forward to Wednesday hope it’s a good game"DG replied: Spot on. Were Ukraine that poor? Or did we make them look poor by being right on our game? It’s daft and disrespectful to label any teams not in the world top 5 or 10 as easy. Historically, we’ve been knocked out by the likes of Romania, Croatia and Iceland, so let’s give credit where it’s due. There are no easy knock out games. Just look at France vs Switzerland, or Italy vs Austria.27036

      More replies (79)

    • T

      Comment posted by Thegreatpoobar, at 18:08 5 Jul

      What a nice man that Mr. Southgate is.

      His humility has extended into his playing squad and formed a good team ethic based on solid principles.

      They deserve success.41653

      • G

        Reply posted by GJM1305, at 18:08 5 Jul

        "What a nice man that Mr. Southgate is.His humility has extended into his playing squad and formed a good team ethic based on solid principles.They deserve success."GJM1305 replied: Boring man.73545

      More replies (38)

    • J

      Comment posted by Jay, at 18:13 5 Jul

      Gareth & the lads so far..

      Topped the group
      0 Conseaded
      8 Goals
      0 Suspensions
      Beat 5th World Ranked team (2018 World Cup finalists)
      Beat Germany 2.0
      Consecutive major tournament Semi Final
      Best defense in the tournament
      Great moral in the camp

      Well done Gareth, the lads, & all the backroom staff 👏🏼36238

      • D

        Reply posted by david, at 18:16 5 Jul

        "Gareth & the lads so far..Topped the group 0 Conseaded 8 Goals0 Suspensions Beat 5th World Ranked team (2018 World Cup finalists) Beat Germany 2.0 Consecutive major tournament Semi Final Best defense in the tournamentGreat moral in the camp Well done Gareth, the lads, & all the backroom staff 👏🏼"david replied: Didn’t beat the Minnows of scotland85206

      More replies (86)

    • J

      Comment posted by Jay, at 18:14 5 Jul

      Southgates plan is working. He studied the style of past tournament winners, many were based around a solid defensive line/formation, whilst creating enough sparks of quality to get the job done.

      England: 5 games – 0 goals conceded, 8 goals scored.

      Plus his management style on/off the pitch seems calm & collected, which the whole squad is chimming to. Well done Gareth & the lads 👏🏼23321

      • T

        Reply posted by The Spin Doctor, at 18:20 5 Jul

        "Southgates plan is working. He studied the style of past tournament winners, many were based around a solid defensive line/formation, whilst creating enough sparks of quality to get the job done. England: 5 games – 0 goals conceded, 8 goals scored. Plus his management style on/off the pitch seems calm & collected, which the whole squad is chimming to. Well done Gareth & the lads 👏🏼"The Spin Doctor replied: This time, more than any other time, this time
        We’re gonna find a way
        Find a way to get away
        This time, getting it all together
        To win the cup4632

      More replies (17)

    • S

      Comment posted by Steve D, at 18:48 5 Jul

      As always I really want England to win. Not just so we get into final but it’ll be another dagger into the heart of all the trolls and anti Engish bile on here.

      Southgate been superb throughout, right selection, right tactics, right subs at right time.

      Long may it continue.

      Roll on Wednesday and COME ON ENGLAND!17722

      • N

        Reply posted by Name, at 20:10 5 Jul

        "As always I really want England to win. Not just so we get into final but it’ll be another dagger into the heart of all the trolls and anti Engish bile on here.Southgate been superb throughout, right selection, right tactics, right subs at right time.Long may it continue.Roll on Wednesday and COME ON ENGLAND!"Name replied: If we win people will claim it’s just because we played most games at home. So does whoever hosts the tournament each 4 years win? By that logic Scotland should also have gone through the group stages because they played most games at home. But they only got 1 point, which they earned away at Wembley… 🤔629

      More replies (13)

    • S

      Comment posted by Simba, at 18:10 5 Jul

      Screw all the negativity. Cmon England!!!17638

      • F

        Reply posted by Fan Of Whoever Plays Man Utd, at 18:46 5 Jul

        "Screw all the negativity. Cmon England!!!"Fan Of Whoever Plays Man Utd replied: Al the best England, the whole country is with you (at least the sensible people).10431

      More replies (4)

    • M

      Comment posted by MJF_dodo, at 18:22 5 Jul

      Denmark will be a tough test. England are slight favourites. England are not used to chasing a game so first goal is vital for both.1407

      • D

        Reply posted by Dallas Cowboys Liverpool FC, at 19:35 5 Jul

        "Denmark will be a tough test. England are slight favourites. England are not used to chasing a game so first goal is vital for both."Dallas Cowboys Liverpool FC replied: Denmark will be tough, but playing at home will give England the edge and this should lead to a England win. Will be a close game nevertheless.537

      More replies (6)

    • R

      Comment posted by Rivercider, at 18:20 5 Jul

      Recent competitions have shown that teams like Wales and Iceland can go a long way with a strong team spirit.
      This England squad does seem to have more togetherness.
      I would like us to win pretty, but to be honest I would take any 1-0 win.10110


      • Reply posted by 009, at 18:23 5 Jul

        "Recent competitions have shown that teams like Wales and Iceland can go a long way with a strong team spirit.This England squad does seem to have more togetherness.I would like us to win pretty, but to be honest I would take any 1-0 win."009 replied: Wales and Iceland didn’t have the advantage of playing all bar one of their games at home34142

      More replies (27)

    • D

      Comment posted by Devon, at 18:34 5 Jul

      Jock here , don’t like your ignorant fans (most are applicable) don’t like the gobskitter pundits , however Mr Southgate is a gent and an outstanding individual and you have some fantastic players so for them and the many decent fans and families I hope England at least reach the final.10314

      • K

        Reply posted by Knavesmire, at 18:38 5 Jul

        "Jock here , don’t like your ignorant fans (most are applicable) don’t like the gobskitter pundits , however Mr Southgate is a gent and an outstanding individual and you have some fantastic players so for them and the many decent fans and families I hope England at least reach the final."Knavesmire replied: Devon, why doesn’t the devolved Scottish parliament teach Scottish history correctly? Up there with Wales for believing the myths.2138

      More replies (7)

    • R

      Comment posted by Ronny Rosen-chin, at 18:39 5 Jul

      As per the great Scottish philosopher, Grounds Keeper Willie ‘ Brothers and sisters are natural enemies. Like Englishmen and Scots! Or Welshmen and Scots! Or Japanese and Scots! Or Scots and other Scots! Damn Scots! They ruined Scotland!’906

      • D

        Reply posted by Dallas Cowboys Liverpool FC, at 19:37 5 Jul

        "As per the great Scottish philosopher, Grounds Keeper Willie ‘ Brothers and sisters are natural enemies. Like Englishmen and Scots! Or Welshmen and Scots! Or Japanese and Scots! Or Scots and other Scots! Damn Scots! They ruined Scotland!’"Dallas Cowboys Liverpool FC replied: Now now, just calm down, take a few deep breaths and carry on.1313

      More replies (3)

    • R

      Comment posted by Rosemary, at 18:35 5 Jul

      I think that interview shows why a lot of the credit for the team’s success so far is due to Mr Southgate. Modest, poliite, knows what he’s talking about, and mercifully seems free of both ego and a chip on his shoulder. I wish there were more like him in sport and in life in general.
      866

      • H

        Reply posted by Honest discussion, at 21:16 5 Jul

        "I think that interview shows why a lot of the credit for the team’s success so far is due to Mr Southgate. Modest, poliite, knows what he’s talking about, and mercifully seems free of both ego and a chip on his shoulder. I wish there were more like him in sport and in life in general."Honest discussion replied: Absolutely. And to think people wanted him to be sacked for playing Sterling… hopefully we’ll all grow a little from this experience.301

      More replies (3)

    • O

      Comment posted by Orkneyboy, at 19:11 5 Jul

      I’m just going to laugh in the faces of the jealous ones who wish they could even get close to a Euro semi-final. That’s two consecutive semi-finals mind you. World and Euro. England are doing well, better than France, Belgium, Germany and Holland. 4 outstanding teams, sitting at home, who would give anything to be where we are right now. So suck it up boys and girls and admit we are quite good.729

      • H

        Reply posted by Henry Hannon, at 19:24 5 Jul

        "I’m just going to laugh in the faces of the jealous ones who wish they could even get close to a Euro semi-final. That’s two consecutive semi-finals mind you. World and Euro. England are doing well, better than France, Belgium, Germany and Holland. 4 outstanding teams, sitting at home, who would give anything to be where we are right now. So suck it up boys and girls and admit we are quite good."Henry Hannon replied: The Netherlands to give them their correct name and Germany are not outstanding teams.1572

      More replies (16)

    • D

      Comment posted by Dozzio86, at 21:10 5 Jul

      Scotland fan here to congratulate England, Southgate has proved me wrong and good on him. I’ll be cheering on England now. Flying the flag for the UK635

      • W

        Reply posted by wedontcarrybottles, at 21:30 5 Jul

        "Scotland fan here to congratulate England, Southgate has proved me wrong and good on him. I’ll be cheering on England now. Flying the flag for the UK"wedontcarrybottles replied: The Uk isn’t a football team161

      More replies (4)

    • R

      Comment posted by ricky53, at 20:03 5 Jul

      I’m a Scot who finds much of what happens south of the border quite shameful and alien to my way of life.
      That said , I wish the English football team the very best in the semi and, hopefully, the final. They have proved what a good team they are – now prove that you are a great side.

      I’m even willing to put up with the smugness of commentators , fans etc !!635

      • D

        Reply posted by DoNotTalkNonsense, at 20:04 5 Jul

        "I’m a Scot who finds much of what happens south of the border quite shameful and alien to my way of life. That said , I wish the English football team the very best in the semi and, hopefully, the final. They have proved what a good team they are – now prove that you are a great side. I’m even willing to put up with the smugness of commentators , fans etc !!"DoNotTalkNonsense replied: Shame on you. I’m not even Scottish, but I know with your history, that you have clearly left your brain up yee kilt!752

      More replies (7)

    • M

      Comment posted by Mark Crossley, at 19:52 5 Jul

      Gareth Southgate deserves all the acclaim he is receiving not only for what he is achieving with the players on the field but also for how he has totally transformed the way our international players behave off the field
      The England team is no longer a”circus” complete with it’s “Wags Pageant”
      The players are purely focused on their aim of winning international trophies.
      Take a bow Sir Gareth646

      • M

        Reply posted by manne14, at 19:56 5 Jul

        "Gareth Southgate deserves all the acclaim he is receiving not only for what he is achieving with the players on the field but also for how he has totally transformed the way our international players behave off the fieldThe England team is no longer a”circus” complete with it’s “Wags Pageant”The players are purely focused on their aim of winning international trophies.Take a bow Sir Gareth"manne14 replied: I agree, first time since 1990 I have admired the England team, and I am not English414

      More replies (2)

    • W

      Comment posted by WIthrespect, at 18:50 5 Jul

      Before the tournament how many of us would have taken a semi final spot? nearly all of us, some negative clowns are still putting us down.

      This team is growing into this tournament, are getting better as the tournament goes on and are starting to make people sit up and listen.

      It’s time to get behind the team and start believing we are good enough to win it.

      Looking forward to Wednesday615

      • C

        Reply posted by Cheggers, at 21:26 5 Jul

        "Before the tournament how many of us would have taken a semi final spot? nearly all of us, some negative clowns are still putting us down. This team is growing into this tournament, are getting better as the tournament goes on and are starting to make people sit up and listen. It’s time to get behind the team and start believing we are good enough to win it. Looking forward to Wednesday"Cheggers replied: Considering Eng are ranked #4 in world and playing in a home tournament, with arguably the 2nd or 3rd strongest squad – semi finals is par. England are getting great results but haven’t beaten anyone ranked lower than them – fans shouldn’t celebrate coming 2nd/3rd or 4th.744

      More replies (4)

    • L

      Comment posted by Lets Agree To Disagree, at 18:07 5 Jul

      This is England’s best chance. This is England’s moment.6726

      • S

        Reply posted by seldomwrong, at 18:12 5 Jul

        "This is England’s best chance. This is England’s moment."seldomwrong replied: Had a better chance against Croatia in semi final in the WORLD CUP32104

      More replies (8)

    • V

      Comment posted by VinnyDogman, at 18:24 5 Jul

      We need to remember we’re in the semi final and Denmark aren’t just going let us win Yes we must be positive and confident but not cocky Let’s get past the Danes first435

      • S

        Reply posted by steggsyn, at 21:23 5 Jul

        "We need to remember we’re in the semi final and Denmark aren’t just going let us win Yes we must be positive and confident but not cocky Let’s get past the Danes first"steggsyn replied: Who’s cocky? Eng fans wantbtgrmnto win. Of course they do. Doesn’t mean they’re claiming that they will.75

    • D

      Comment posted by Djullius70, at 21:44 5 Jul

      I am Swedish but have been always supporting England first. EPL is the best league in the world so hopefully this English team is going to be the best too. The lads and the nation deserve it!322

      • D

        Reply posted by DoNotTalkNonsense, at 21:49 5 Jul

        "I am Swedish but have been always supporting England first. EPL is the best league in the world so hopefully this English team is going to be the best too. The lads and the nation deserve it!"DoNotTalkNonsense replied: Get well soon.615

      More replies (4)

    • G

      Comment posted by gazkitch, at 18:28 5 Jul

      I hope that England can beat their semifinal hoodoo … 1 win from 6.
      Denmark will be a tough game, make no mistake! Thankfully, unlike the media and fans, the England team and management aren’t complacent!357

      • A

        Reply posted by AVDor, at 20:49 5 Jul

        "I hope that England can beat their semifinal hoodoo … 1 win from 6.Denmark will be a tough game, make no mistake! Thankfully, unlike the media and fans, the England team and management aren’t complacent!"AVDor replied: Fortunately it’s the England team and management that are responsible for the results on the pitch. Whatever fans or pundits say matters very little, in fact, and here’s a novel idea. As they are free to support our National team and can say “England are the greatest team ever to have played the game” if they want to, how about calling it ‘optimism’, ‘hope’ or ‘expectation’ Or is that too cheery?106

      More replies (2)

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