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England great Shilton impressed by Southgate’s measured approach

10 July, 2018, 10:17 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
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Sterling did produce an encouraging display in the quarter-final win over Sweden and was a constant threat throughout the 2-0 success in Samara.

Shilton, who won 125 caps for his country, was the goalkeeper for England last World Cup semi-final appearance when West Germany beat Bobby Robson's side on penalties.

The 68-year-old insists it is paramount today's team do not get carried away with the prospect of worldwide football's greatest prize so close, and he has been impressed by how Southgate has managed emotions.

They began solidly against England in a slow and sloppy start to the game that resembled a pre-season friendly at times, only to be outdone by a goal Sweden isn't used to conceding.

"That's the most important thing, everyone comes together and we want to make them feel proud.

There's no complacency." One of the reasons given for England's success in Russian Federation is their remote base in the sleepy seaside town of Repino, 45 kilometres (28 miles) northwest of Saint Petersburg, far removed from the hype back home.

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Stones - who has started all five of England's games at Russian Federation 2018, scoring twice - is well aware that the opportunity to contest a World Cup final may never come around again and is relishing the chance to make it happen.

"They showed from the games I've seen so far that they play direct football and they are very fast".

"I think Raheem Sterling is an important player because he is really fast and his combination with Harry Kane is really risky".

"No-one wants to go home".

As the hysteria back home following Saturday's quarter-final win proves, so are the rest of us - and long may it continue, well, for at least another week.

"I think France and Belgium have proven to be really good sides". It's 28 years since we got to a semi-final but no player in the dressing room would have told you "we're not confident" or "we're not going to get there".

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