England fan warming to their World Cup chances

09 July, 2018, 10:59 | Author: Isabel Grant
  • Chris Kirkland England

They've conceded just two goals in the tournament so far and it will be no easy task for Kane and Co to carve through defence.

Henderson said: 'I was a little bit tight before the game so towards the last 20 minutes I just overstretched and I felt it a little bit.

Punters are showing confidence in England's new-found penalty prowess and have backed them to win another shootout on the eve of their quarter-final against Sweden.

"For sure, going to extra-time I'm pleased we did what we did in the Belgium game even more because I think it's an accumulation of fatigue making things more hard".

Soham-born former Ipswich and Bury Town goalkeeper Pope, in Russian Federation as Gareth Southgate's third-choice goalkeeper, has played a vital role in England's preparation for penalty shoot-outs in training, with Dier insisting the 26-year-old deserves plenty of credit for his winning effort in Moscow.

"No, I didn't know he'd go that way".

Pickford did make a couple of saves, albeit not eye-catching or jaw-dropping, against Tunisia and Belgium in the group stage but it is against Colombia in the last 16 really that he announced his grand arrival in the biggest stage of them all.

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He added: "I think it's an advantage for us that their game went all the way to a penalty shoot-out".

Dier went on to net the winning spot-kick in the penalty shootout which sent England through to the quarter-finals after the tie finished 1-1 after extra-time.

"I don't care if I'm not the biggest keeper, I've got that power and agility and I'm very good at penalties".

"I actually predicted we would get knocked out to Colombia in the last 16 so I was already anxious".

"As long as you are set and in the right position, you give yourself the best opportunity", he said. We showed our mental strength.

"Did I practice a lot?"

Pickford didn't get to enjoy the dressing-room plaudits and euphoria afterwards because he was selected for random dope testing. But we just knew how to reset - "bang, we're going again".

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