• Wednesday, Aug 17, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

Southgate: England ready to end semi-final jinx

  • Published at 07:04 pm July 5th, 2021
Southgate
Gareth Southgate

England have fallen at the penultimate hurdle at major tournaments on four occasions since winning the World Cup in 1966

Gareth Southgate says England are ready to end their semi-final hoodoo as they prepare to face Denmark in the last four of Euro 2020, bidding to reach their first final at a major tournament since 1966.

England topped their group and beat old foes Germany in the round of 16 before ratcheting up expectations with Saturday's thumping 4-0 quarter-final win against Ukraine in Rome.

England have fallen at the penultimate hurdle at major tournaments on four occasions since winning the World Cup in 1966, including their defeat by Croatia at the World Cup in Russia three years ago.

But Southgate believes his side have learned from that disappointment and are ready to take the next step.

A key difference from 2018 is heightened expectation, with Southgate himself admitting their benchmark in Russia was to end England's 12-year wait for a knockout victory.

The former international defender now has more knockout wins than any previous England manager and will go looking for another in Wednesday's semi-final bolstered by a boisterous partisan crowd of 60,000-plus at Wembley.

Southgate expects teenager Bukayo Saka to return to training Monday after missing the Ukraine match with a slight knock.

Southgate says going through "real-life experiences together" such as the sickening racism experienced in Montenegro and Bulgaria in Euro 2020 qualifiers has helped create a bond among his players.

Semi-final opponents Denmark have also been brought closer together following Christian Eriksen's cardiac arrest in their group opener. 

The Inter Milan player needed resuscitation on the pitch before a successful operation in hospital.