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Southgate forced England to face up to Iceland debacle

10 Juillet 2018

England boss Gareth Southgate found himself talking about rubber chickens and waistcoats as he finalised his plans for the World Cup semi-final showdown with Croatia.

On Wednesdays we wear waistcoats - or at least that's what football fans in England are doing this week.

"You obviously have got your family at home and the kids that you need to keep in touch with, keep checking in or the missus might go mad".

It's not the first time Tilly has been interrupted by Phil's cat while trying to make a selection.

"Mentally‚ I think you are ready‚ whatever happens". The Three Lions won 5-1 that night at Wembley to seal their qualification for the 2010 World Cup, having also won the reverse fixture 4-1 when Theo Walcott scored a hat-trick. Tune in to the game, at 7pm on ITV to find out.

England manager Gareth Southgate believes the best is yet to come from his maturing team - even though they are potentially 90 minutes from their first World Cup final since 1966.

But Southgate has stressed the importance of "the collective" throughout the tournament and here Press Association Sport looks at his backroom team.

Raheem Sterling found himself at the centre of controversy in the run-up to the World Cup and is still searching for his best form in Russian Federation but coach Gareth Southgate insists he is a "fundamental" part of the England set-up. We know they are a very proud nation, similar to Sweden: "their identity as a team is very strong so we have to be extremely well-prepared for the game and play at our top level to have a chance of winning".

"The way Raheem's handled everything from when we met up until now has been incredible", said Dier.

He said: "When I walk in the street, wait on the platform for a train going to work or go shopping I have young lads asking for photos or telling me how much I look like Harry Kane". The 51-year-old had spent the previous three years managing Abu Dhabi-based team Al-Ain. "We are in a World Cup semi-final". They have real enthusiasm for these players, not only for the way they have played but also for the way they have conducted themselves. After he retired, he turned to coaching and, ultimately, became interim manager in 2016 when England's former team manager Sam Allardyce lost his job amidst allegations of improper conduct.

Southgate forced England to face up to Iceland debacle