Southgate, and England, reap reward for faith in Pickford

Southgate, and England, reap reward for faith in Pickford

'We've just got to get through now, but I have every confidence that we can do it.

Gareth Southgate's young side face the Scandinavians in Samara at 1400 GMT with a place in the last four against either Croatia or hosts Russian Federation up for grabs.

"They have got a hell of a chance and I don't think us as a nation will get a better chance of going all the way to the final, so I hope they grasp it".

England controlled the majority of their quarter-final against Sweden and could have added further gloss to the scoreline had they had their finishing boots on.

But even if fans caught the quickest flight now to Samara in Russian Federation, at just over six hours, it is too late for them to get there for the kick-off at 3pm United Kingdom time.

"In the group stages, especially after the first two games, everyone over here was talking about how good England were and putting them up there as one of the favourites because of the style of play", the former Flegg High School pupil said.

Both said they would be supporting Sweden, not because they want England to lose, but because they want Germany to remain the only team to beat the Scandinavian side in this World Cup.

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"We came into this tournament as the least experienced team - we were one of the youngest teams in it", he said.

- Beaten Sweden coach Janne Andersson thinks England can win a first major trophy for 52 years.

"I'm fairly indifferent to the game on Saturday because Switzerland got kicked out in their last game, I'm not too happy about that", he says. Overall, I think England will get to the finals, then lose - it's Brazil isn't it?

"I think the players will like the fact that they're still recognising there's still a long way for them to go, that they're still a long way away from their peak".

Roy, 54, from Hereford, said: "I'm very nervous, they are very well structured as a side and I am very concerned about whether we can break them down. The players know this and it is just an extra boost for us in terms of motivation".

Can England go on and win the World Cup this summer? "I've kind of put my affiliation to Scotland, but I've always followed England's men's team quite a bit".

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