The Three Lions boss believes it would’ve been a struggle to recreate the same atmosphere as the one witnessed in the win over Germany
Gareth Southgate believes England will benefit from not playing their Euro 2020 quarter-final match against Ukraine at Wembley.
The Three Lions will meet Andriy Shevchenko’s team at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome to fight for a semi-final place on Saturday.
The match comes a matter of days after England beat Germany 2-0 at Wembley, where the semi-finals and final will all be played.
What has been said?
The tie against Ukraine will be the only game that Southgate’s men will play away from their home stadium in the tournament although he doesn’t think that will hamper his side.
“I think there was clearly a big emotional toll from the game [against Germany] and everybody enjoyed the day but, even in the dressing room afterwards, the players were already talking about the next game and the need to prepare well,” he told reporters.
“So we have shifted the mindset quickly on to that next challenge. We’ve achieved one challenge but that’s not the Everest we set ourselves, really. We want to push on from where we’ve got to now.
“I think the psychological freshness is key. We’ve obviously got a strong squad as well. It’s actually, for us, probably a good thing to be going away now. It would’ve been very hard, three days later, to replicate that experience at Wembley.
“So now we’ve got a different sort of test. We’ve got to go away from home, play a good team, without many English fans in the stadium, so it’s all about our group, it’s all about our team and what we do, and the energy and focus that we create.”
Southgate warns of Ukraine danger
Ukraine finished third in Group C behind Netherlands and Austria to reach the knockout rounds of Euro 2020.
Shevchenko’s team beat Sweden after extra-time in the last 16 to set up a tie with the Three Lions and Southgate believes they will pose a real threat if his side are not careful.
“Ukraine are a good side. I’ve been really impressed with what Andriy’s done with them,” he said.
“They had a couple of sticky results through the autumn, through the Nations League, but they’ve bounced back, and they got a very good result in France, in the World Cup qualifiers and again this week against Sweden.
“If we give them space to play, they’ll play, and they’ve got some dangerous forwards.”
Who will England or Ukraine meet in the next round?
The winner of the match in Rome will go on to face either Denmark or Czech Republic in the last four of the tournament.
Those two sides meet in Baku before England’s clash with Ukraine kicks off.