Gareth Southgate drops major England semi-final selection hint

Gareth Southgate

England have not won a major trophy since the World Cup in 1966 and have only reached two semifinals since: in 1990 and at Euro '96, when Southgate became a poster boy for the tournament for the wrong reason after missing the decisive penalty in the shoot-out defeat against Germany.

"Come here, and we'll watch it together".

The Swedes had been quietly impressive throughout the tournament and looked set to nullify England's attacking threat with their organisation and solidity, but Gareth Southgate's side broke through their defences and held on to secure passage to the final four.

"This generation has been underrated for a long time but they have shown their qualities when it matters and they will go down in history as a great generation that has come close to the "bronze Vatreni" of 1998". We feel we're in a good place playing well, but football is a low scoring game with random events that can happen.

"Health has to be number one, but to play for the Croatian team, to play in the World Cup semi-final, I do not need to even say that I will be giving it 300% to be fit".

They had won just one knockout match at a major tournament in 16 years before coming to Russian Federation, a 1-0 victory against Ecuador at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

None more so than Luka Modric who, on this site on Monday, was named by former Croatia coach Slaven Bilic as the player of the tournament so far.

More news: These are the semi-final matchups at the FIFA World Cup (SCHEDULE)

Whether that is fair or not, given that Ivan Perisic doesn't provide him with much cover, is up for debate but it was clear that Russian Federation targeted that area as they forced Croatia to penalties in their quarter-final.

He said: "They'll be the best team we've played in terms of what they're capable of doing with the ball, and what their individuals are capable of, definitely".

Southgate explained: "Our younger teams having the success they have had has been hugely rewarding". We made a lot of changes with the national teams that helped us be successful. We have to constantly evolve and improve. The experiences of the last few weeks, the milestones they've hit, will be a great reference point moving forward. "You get an accumulation of fatigue through a tournament and that's why we took the decision we did against Belgium [to make changes] more than anything". You will highlight certain players and positions they're likely to take.

"All of that work is great but you really have to achieve at senior level for all of that to be fulfilled and we've got a great opportunity now to reach the final". Henderson has attempted more passes per game than any other English midfielder at the World Cup, with an average of 59.3.

"There are some fantastic players coming through".

"It's definitely looking bright".

I'm full of confidence that it's coming home and, as much as I like Croatia, they are beatable. You are the most handsome.

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