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Southgate calls for England to play without fear at Euro 2024

Gareth Southgate has called for England to play without fear at Euro 2024 as the Three Lions prepare to face Slovakia this evening.

England’s knockout stage campaign begins against Slovakia in Gelenkirchen on Sunday, as the side look to reach the quarter-finals of a major tournament for the fourth consecutive competition under Southgate.

 

The Three Lions progressed from the group stage as winners but have been criticised for their performances in Germany to date.

England scored just twice in three group games despite a wealth of attacking talent that includes European Golden Shoe winner Harry Kane, Jude Bellingham and Phil Foden.

Southgate has faced a large number of critics for perceived pragmatism in his tactical approach but the England manager has said he wants his team to feel free from the shackles.

Ahead of facing Slovakia, who beat Belgium in a group-stage upset, Southgate has demanded more from his team and said the fear of losing should not inhibit England despite the external pressure.

“It could be another brilliant night to create more memories for our supporters,” Southgate said at a pre-game press conference.

“I have played in a semi-final of a major tournament, and managed in a semi-final and a final. Tomorrow, it’s about the team progressing.

“We shouldn’t have a fear of losing, it’s about opportunity. We are trying to reach for something which is a challenge.

 

“We have lost matches before, life goes on. At that point when you can handle the worst you are free to try and go and win the game.”

Read – Dismal England have two positives to cling onto ahead of Euro 2024 knockouts

See more – Euro 2024 stats leaders ahead of the knockout rounds

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