Defender Meunier Says Belgium Want to Beat England in Third-Place Match

Harry Kane and one of the engraved fivers

SWNS WINNER! Footie fans could net themselves £50K if they find a fiver with a Harry Kane engraving

- As good as it gets?

"Of course it's going to be a really hard task over the next 24 hours to get everyone mentally back to where we want them for a game like that. I wish him all the luck in the world".

Southgate admits it has been tough to come to terms with Wednesday's semi-final heartbreak at the hands of Croatia but he insists motivation will not be a problem this weekend. That's probably where we are.

"We did talk to them [the players] about that before, but I think it was hard for them to really get it, majority weren't born in 1990 and they were too young for '96".

In response to whether he's scared England peaked at this World Cup, Southgate joked he's not even scared of "the big bad wolf".

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said Friday she could not wait for the World Cup final against France, as officials worked overtime to meet the huge demands from fans needing passports.

"There were low expectations that relieved the pressure coming into the tournament but still pressure to get out of the group, win a knockout game and win a shootout and they coped with that".

As a result, the relationship between England's players and supporters has softened.

It has been suggested Southgate could radically alter his team to give some of his fringe players a run-out as England bow out in Russian Federation in the bronze-medal match in St Petersburg. "It's the same as if you were at a big club".

"To have been able to make a difference is something that will live with us all forever, so we can tell the way that the country has united behind football and that's maybe more important than the performance in some respects". They care. They care about playing for their country. "There is an energy and connection back".


Martinez switched nine players and Southgate brought in eight, a decision he described as a "no brainer" in the circumstances.

"But when you get close to success it drives you more, because you can see things are possible".

"We've set a benchmark for how we work", he said. We are up against players of a high quality and with lots of experience. "This group will be stronger in two years' time, due to their age and because of the big-match experiences which we've now been through".

However, Southgate has a contract until 2020, which could be extended until beyond the 2022 World Cup, giving England stability.

"I'm not scared of anything", he said.

"But if we have a parade, that would have been one part of the country and we represent the whole country as well".

Southgate believes England inspired a nation in the same way Germany did during its run to a third-place finish in 2006.

Die Mannschaft laid the groundwork in 2006 before winning in Brazil. After 62 matches, two remain to challenge for the title. We've been through brilliant experiences this time.

"They did not look like a side who were playing extra time for a third time in a row. But it's very hard to prepare for the next game", said Roberto Martinez, their coach. "When you finish a tournament you carry the feeling of the last game".

"Everyone at The Football Association, especially St George's Park, has done a fantastic job working with the England squad and building the team ethic that took them to this level".

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