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Dublin: 11°C Friday 26 February 2021

'I don't want to go home yet' - Southgate and England dreaming of World Cup glory

Well, he’s not coming home without bringing football….

 Euphoric: Gareth Southgate.
Euphoric: Gareth Southgate.

GARATH SOUTGATE SAID he was not ready to leave the World Cup after England triumphed 4-3 in a shoot-out against Colombia to move into the quarter-finals.

After a 1-1 draw in Moscow, Jordan Henderson saw his spot-kick saved by David Ospina, but England came from behind thanks to misses from Mateus Uribe and Carlos Bacca.

Sweden now await in the last eight of the World Cup and Southgate believes a first World Cup shoot-out win for England will give his side an important boost.

“It’s something they can look back on and draw on as an experience,” Southgate told ITV.

“We’ve talked about creating our own stories, our own history. They’ve done a little bit of that tonight, we go to a quarter-final, but I don’t want to go home yet!

“I thought we played so well in the 90 minutes. We’ve shown incredible resilience to come back from huge disappointment at the final whistle.

“Huge credit to all of the players and every member of staff because so much effort has gone into winning the way we did tonight.”

Southgate has plenty of penalty history of his own, having missed from the spot as England lost in the semi-finals of Euro 96 to Germany.

But Jordan Pickford saved from Bacca and Eric Dier tucked home the winning kick to book the Three Lions a clash with Sweden in Samara on Saturday.

“We’d talked long and hard about owning the process. We kept calm, great credit to everyone for taking everything on board,” Southgate added of the shoot-out.

“We looked at individual technique, how we needed to be as a team, and the goalkeeper has been very important in that as well, of course it’s a special moment, but I’m now thinking about Sweden. This was special, but I want us to go on now.

“Sweden is another team we have a poor record against. We’ve underestimated them for years, they’re brilliant at what they do, know exactly how they play. It’s going to be a real tough test.”

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And of his own miss 22 years ago, the Three Lions boss added: “That will never be off my back. It is a moment that will live with me forever, sadly.”

“But today is a special moment for this team, and that hopefully will give belief to the generations of players that follow, because they can see what is possible.

“In life you can’t be hindered by history or expectations. The young players are showing that, enjoying the tournament, and we are looking forward to preparing for the quarter-final.

“We’ve talked about the team making their own history and I think they’ve bought into everything we’ve tried to do with them.

“We’ve got to capitalise on that now. I’m already thinking about the next game, we’d have liked a week to enjoy it but we haven’t got that, because Sweden are a team I respect hugely.

“That’s a hugely difficult game for us. At the moment we’re as high as a kite, having to recover.”

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