Henderson hopeful on fitness for World Cup semi-final

Ashley Young England 03072018

Henderson hopeful on fitness for World Cup semi-final

With a place in the World Cup final at stake, a first for Croatia and second for England, the semi-final tie is set to be a nervy one.

"For everyone out here following us and everyone back home - it is special".

Southgate has been just the voice of reason England have needed to prevent anyone from getting too carried away. "We prepare the same way for every opposition".

"The age of the players, the improvement in the players and the hunger of the players has been apparent for everybody to see". We believe we have to continue doing that, to constantly evolve and improve. It will be a battle again but I trust us.

Southgate pointed to the uniting effect the team's exploits have had on a nation enduring "difficult moments" economically and politically, with the seniors threatening to emulate the achievements of England's under-17s and under-20s, both now world champions, and the European Championship-winning under-19s.

Sales of said waistcoat have rocketed as fans stock up on this summer's must-have item.

Southgate admits he couldn't listen to it for 20 years after his Wembley nightmare and said: "I would just walk out of the room".

"We are really proud of the support that we are receiving. It's a privilege for us".

Croatia defender Dejan Lovren is eager to prove a point when he comes up against England forward Harry Kane in the World Cup semi-finals.

"England have great players - they are a fantastic team", he added.

Ask anyone rooting for England in the World Cup, and they'll tell you, "It's coming home". It's important that we do our best on the pitch. I've met quite a few of those players and we know exactly how they're held and perhaps, in the modern era, that would be even crazier.

The Three Lions have reached the World Cup semi-finals after 28 years, but Dier has declared that they haven't won anything yet.

England, who made an early impression with a 6-1 crushing of Panama in the group stage, then overcame their shootout hoodoo in beating Colombia in the last 16 and looked composed and mature in the 2-0 quarterfinal victory over Sweden. Many supporters are viewing this match as England's chance of revenge.

"Our physical performance coaches try to keep refreshing the warm-ups for the players and keep them stimulated, using a bit of fun to get them moving". There was a lot of leadership in the group.

England are the holders of the Federation Internationale de Football Association U17 World Cup and Federation Internationale de Football Association U20 World Cup - and are just two wins away from making it a unique hat-trick.

"I think Raheem has been fundamental to the way that we have played - his movement, the positions he takes up, his pressing of the ball, his work-rate for the team, the winning of free kicks and corners, his speed to stretch teams". "To have seen our younger teams have success they have has been hugely rewarding". We have to constantly evolve and improve. In the other four games, Croatia's only variable to its 4-2-3-1 formation was whether to start captain Luka Modric in a deep midfield role and Andrej Kramaric more advanced, or to move up Modric and start Marcelo Brozovic. The lads know these players, but also as a team we've got good defensive organisation. You don't have to find another level, generally speaking. Hopefully they can continue to grow and learn on the biggest stage.

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