England are finally streetwise enough to go all the way vs Italy, claims Gareth Southgate ahead of Euro 2020 final
GARETH SOUTHGATE reckons England are ready to win Euro 2020 as they have finally become streetwise.
The Three Lions boss, preparing for Sunday’s final against Italy at Wembley, believes years of work with the squad has made them much cuter.
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England showed maturity by closing out Wednesday’s 2-1 semi-final win over Denmark.
And Southgate admitted: “The players have learnt a lot over the last three or four years.
“We used to talk to the Under-21s about that — it was one of the biggest areas we had to improve upon.
“And we still can be better at it because in the first five minutes of that second half of extra-time we had the man advantage and didn’t keep the ball well enough.”
However, Denmark struggled to get the ball off Southgate’s players in the closing stages.
Rather than look for a third goal, England were happy to keep possession.
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Southgate added: “They did that really well and we have got the technicians to be able to do it.
“We weren’t perfect but we deserved the win on the amount of chances we created and some of the attacking play.
“But I guess it was never going to be perfect with so much at stake.”
It says a lot for Southgate’s management skills that Jack Grealish, hooked after going on as a sub, apparently replied: “Gaffer, it doesn’t matter. I’m not bothered. We got to the final.”
England had only a light warm-down session at St George’s Park on Thursday.
Italy, meanwhile, had a full training session back home in Florence, as they had an extra day to prepare after beating Spain on Tuesday.
Southgate added: “It is definitely a bit of a disadvantage but we have to find the best way of dealing with that.”
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