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Tuesday 31 January 2023 Dublin: 7°C
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# Respect
Declan Rice: England have not been given due credit but have silenced critics
Gareth Southgate’s side meet France in the quarter-finals.

DECLAN RICE BELIEVES England’s World Cup performances have not been given the credit they deserve but the side have “silenced the critics” ahead of a quarter-final against holders France.

A comfortable 3-0 victory over Senegal in the last-16 has set Gareth Southgate’s side up for a clash against the reigning champions at Al Bayt Stadium on Saturday night.

Having boasted the best record in the group stages – including a 6-2 victory over Iran and a 3-0 win against Wales – England have caught the eye in Qatar.

But Rice feels other nations have earned more plaudits than the Euro 2020 runners-up and insists England have earned the right to be feared.

“I don’t think we get the credit we deserve in our performances,” said the West Ham skipper.

“I think if you look at other teams, like Holland and Argentina, they win their games comfortably and they get called masterclasses.

“With us, it always gets picked off. The negative things always come that way. If you look at the last couple of games, it’s been faultless.

“I think countries, like I said the other day, should be starting to fear us now because we’re a great team.

“We’re silencing the critics. Going into the tournament, there was a lot of talk that we don’t score enough goals.

“That’s another one we’ve kept people quiet on. There was a lot of scrutiny around the defence and conceding goals, but it’s been solid. We’re going to keep building and pushing.”

While France boast Kylian Mbappe – the Paris Saint-Germain forward who leads the race for the golden boot with five goals – Rice insists reckons have highlighted some areas where they can get an advantage of Didier Deschamps’ men.

“There’s no point buzzing about tonight if we can’t push on and beat France,” he added.

“Against the big teams, there has always been a lot of talk on us using the ball. I think in this tournament we’ve pretty much controlled every game.

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“We’ve had a fair share of possession, we’ve moved it really well. The opening stages have been really shaky because teams are really trying to stop us playing.

“But once we get that goal, they have to change. It opens up and then you really start to see us play.

“Against France, we’ve seen some weaknesses in them that we can try to exploit. It’s set up for a great game.”

“These are the games we want to play in. They only come round once: England vs France, quarter-final, it doesn’t get bigger than that.

“We’ve got six days to prepare now and I’m sure the world will be watching. We really want to progress.”

For the latest news coverage on the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022, see here >

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