England should not take wins for granted – Southgate

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Gareth Southgate says England must not take wins at major tournaments for granted, ahead of facing Denmark at Euro 2024.
England opened their competition with a 1-0 win over Serbia, although the manner of the victory has been criticised by some fans.
Despite the negative reaction, it is only the second time England have won their opening game of a Euros – and Southgate says he is used to the impossibly high standards of supporters.

“I’ve been in this environment for eight years so I understand it all,” he said. “It used to annoy me and now I’m ambivalent to it.
“Winning matches in tournaments is incredibly hard. In this tournament you’ve now got incredible support for all the teams in the stadiums as well which is a little different to the last two tournaments.
“We’ve had some good results over the years so maybe even we take results for granted, I should let the boys enjoy it more than they do. I hope they have a little bit longer than me!
“There should be more joy in it but it’s not my reality if I’m frank. My focus is to get qualified from the group, two tough opponents and two games to achieve that.”
Southgate admitted that criticism despite winning is sometimes difficult to accept, but it comes with the territory.
“The environment around England is one of the hardest things to deal with,” he told the BBC.
“It is not necessarily about playing against the opponent, it’s about dealing with everything.”
England led after just 12 minutes against Serbia through Jude Bellingham’s bullet header, and controlled the first half in Gelsenkirchen.
However, they only had five shots in the match as Serbia controlled possession after the break, and Southgate admitted England would have to improve against the side they faced in the Euro 2020 semi-finals.
“We know we have good players, we know we can play better than the other day,” he said.
“But I thought the players, in an incredibly pressurised moment, started exceptionally well and defended brilliantly throughout the whole game. I think they’ll be better for having a game under their belt.
“Emotionally there’s so much tension, I don’t think people can really understand what it is like for young players. We are pleased to have got a result from that and we know we have to be good tomorrow.”
One player who will not face Denmark is defender Luke Shaw, with Southgate confirming the Manchester United left back has not recovered from his hamstring injury in time.
“Luke won’t be involved tomorrow, he’s on track for what we thought originally,” Southgate said.
“He needs a bit more work. There are days when he needs to do more than the rest and needs to recover.
“He’s still in and out with the others and operating on his own programme as well.”

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