England Coach Gareth Southgate said it was the spirit of the whole squad that sets his side apart as they secured a place in the European Championship semi-finals with a 4-0 victory over Ukraine the Saturday.
Two goals of Harry kane and headers Harry maguire and Jordan henderson saw England qualify for the final four in a Euro for the first time in 25 years, with Southgate hailing his team’s collective attitude as the reason for their progress.
“We gave a fantastic performance, not only the players who started but the players who entered kept the momentum going,” Southgate said at a press conference.
“I also think of the players that I left out of the team and who did not enter the field.
“They’ve been such an important part of what we do. It’s so hard to keep a group of this size involved, happy, feeling valued. And yet these guys have been phenomenal in the way they’ve sacrificed themselves for it. the group.
“We’re in the semi-finals because of that spirit. Of course the quality of our play is important, but I’ve seen a lot of nations come out because they don’t have the spirit of these boys.”
Steve McManaman and Nedum Onuoha reflect on what impressed them about England in their 4-0 loss to Ukraine in the Euro 2020 quarter-finals.
The Danes had an emotional tournament following Christian Eriksencardiac arrest on the pitch, and Southgate is aware of their quality and solidarity after the heartbreaking experience of the midfielder.
“We know how good Denmark are and they have proven it in this tournament,” added Southgate. “They’re riding a wave of emotion over what happened with Christian as well.
“It will be a fantastic game to play in. We have more experience of these kinds of games as a group and individually the players have experience of these games as well. [from club level]so we have to use it on Wednesday night. “
The prize offered is a first appearance in the European Championship final for England and a second in major tournaments.
“We still have a long way to go,” Southgate added. “Before the end of tonight’s game, I was already thinking about the next challenge.
“This is it for us, we’ve never been to a European Championship final, and it’s another opportunity for us to make history.”