England manager Gareth Southgate singles out Stones for praise, defends Kane

Mae Harvey
July 16, 2018

England suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Belgium in the World Cup third place play-off in St. Petersburg on Saturday.

France take on Croatia in the 2018 World Cup Final. "They're going to be brilliant challenges for us and it's the only way we can look to improve".

Chelsea captain Gary Cahill could well be the next player to fall foul of Southgate's focus on developing a team for the future.

"This team has never felt closer to the fans and the nation than they do today".

What's next? There's just one game to go and it's the big one - the World Cup Final - France vs. Croatia in Moscow at 3am tomorrow morning.

Whatever the outcome of Sunday's final match between Croatia and France, one player is certain to miss out on a World Cup medal.

We only wish Kane would've busted out a "Ride the Pony" (Alli) or "Hype" dance (Lingard), but maybe he likes to keep those behind closed doors. Some of the players couldn't go again.

Loyalty and a team-first ethic run through the national team from Croatia, which gained independence from Yugoslavia in 1991 and has only a few players younger than the country itself.

"We are in the World Cup final".

"But there were some incredible individual performances for us".

"We can only be happy and proud that despite the crisis, Croatians have put aside the problems and the hardship", said Dalic.

"We know exactly the areas where we hope to get better".

England returned to Birmingham on Sunday having emulated their best finish at a tournament on foreign soil.

"When you play for or manage England, expectations are always pretty high, but because we are better we should be better able to cope with it", he said.

They could also have a Golden Boot victor in their midst given the fact Harry Kane's six goals put him in a strong position ahead of Sunday's final - not that it makes the captain immune from criticism. "We haven't produced quite enough moments of quality around the penalty area in the tournament", he said. Just because this is a huge game we should not change anything. I think, if I'm honest, yeah.

"We need to be relaxed, prepare in the same way we prepared for the other games".

"And they should be proud of themselves because they've achieved an equal high in terms of tournament performance that any English team that's has to come overseas for a tournament has achieved".

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