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England World Cup fever mounts

13 July, 2018, 07:46 | Author: Lora Ball
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England boss Gareth Southgate found himself talking about rubber chickens and waistcoats as he finalised his plans for the World Cup semi-final showdown with Croatia.

However, nine of the 14 players who featured in that game in Nice are part of Southgate's squad.

In a World Cup where set-pieces have played such a huge role and with teams becoming ever more cautious as the final approaches, that edge could prove the difference between England ending 52 years of hurt or falling at the penultimate hurdle.

"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, social media and everything else, the global thing is so much bigger".

Kane told journalist: "It's incredible to meet any heroes from '66 and it gives you so much inspiration, obviously it's been a long time since England have done well in a major tournament".

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"This is a World Cup where the unexpected has happened".

"England have been the most impressive team so far". "I think with the energy, the organisation, the confidence at the moment, England are a force".

Croatia are in the last four for the first time since 1998 but they had to survive two penalty shoot-outs against Denmark and Russian Federation to make it this far.

I can say the same for my team-mates.

England have been rewriting history in Russian Federation, and Southgate is hoping there will be more to come as they play their most important World Cup game since losing to West Germany on penalties in the semi-finals of Italia '90.

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Just imagine if Gareth Southgate's men reach the final.

The boys, between ages 11 and 16, and their 26-year-old coach were rescued in stages over the last several days, with the final four boys and the coach brought out on Tuesday.

Such was the impact of that loss and the criticism it provoked, it must have been tempting for Southgate to tell his players to put that experience out of their minds.

Southgate's mantra of "playing with freedom" certainly appears to have been drawn from that bitter experience where England looked frozen by fear.

But England has not been in the final since 1966, when it won its only World Cup title. "So, they should - we've got trust in them doing that".

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Before the England team left for Russian Federation , the Duke of Cambridge spent time with the squad and wished them well. To the tune of Billy Ray Cyrus's Achy Breaky Heart, the Three Lions faithful hollered the following lyrical reworking.

"We're just really happy".

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