Gareth Southgate: ‘Let Germany defeat be a warning for England’

Gareth Southgate: ‘Let Germany defeat be a warning for England’

Gareth Southgate: ‘Let Germany defeat be a warning for England’

Thursday's clash with Belgium in Kaliningrad should have been an acid test of their credentials, but such are the permutations and benefits of finishing second in Group G that it has now become a game that will tell us little about the true strengths and weaknesses of this England.

In Iran's 1-0 win over Morocco in the first few days of the competition, it took an own goal from Aziz Bouhaddouz to break the deadlock in injury time, while Uruguay edged Egypt with a Jose Gimenez strike in the 89th minute. Some of them, I don't think they know how good they might be.

"It's different. If we'd been facing each other to qualify for the World Cup knock-out phase it would have been a lot more emotional", the Spaniard said.

Both Belgium and England have already qualified for the last 16, with the victor to top the group.

Southgate knows how much that will mean to the defence-minded player, having headed to two World Cups as a squad member himself but only played at the 1998 tournament.

"So I felt then that I had to make sure that if there are opportunities in life you have got to go for it".

Germany and Brazil's struggles mean qualifying in second could actually yield a more favourable knockout path on paper, but Kane was dismissive of the notion that England will do anything other than try to make it three wins from three against Belgium. "We have to keep building that belief and building those experiences".

"It shows that with Italy and the Netherlands out before the tournament, Chile, who were in the Confederations Cup final, and now Germany, you can not relax and miss the opportunity to constantly improve".

"We are in the fortunate position, we do not have to risk him but if he is ready, we will put him in".

However, Marcus Rashford could come in for Raheem Sterling up front while Danny Rose, Eric Dier and Fabian Delph are all tipped to feature.

England and Belgium will have a better idea of future opponents after Wednesday's games. A draw will take them into tiebreakers, where it could even go to fair play points (yellow cards, red cards) to decide who wins.

"We're always talking with our players about discipline on the pitch, avoiding giving away unnecessary free-kicks". "We want to breed a mentality that everyone in our squad wants to constantly win".

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