Euro 2024: Slovakia win ’emotional turning point’ – Stones

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Image caption: Centre-back Stones has played in all of England’s games at Euro 2024

John Stones says England’s dramatic last-16 comeback win against Slovakia could prove an “emotional turning point” in their bid for Euro 2024 glory.
The Three Lions emerged 2-1 victors after Jude Bellingham levelled with an injury-time overhead kick, before captain Harry Kane notched the decisive strike in extra time.
Stones, speaking as England prepared for Saturday’s quarter-final against Switzerland (17:00), said the success will “change a lot of things”.

“It shows that unity, and togetherness, as a team,” said the 30-year-old defender.
“When you have done those things, you can believe you can do it better, and when it gets tough you can always recap to these moments.”
Stones felt England were heading for an early exit before their late fightback – and will now use that performance as “fuel” for the rest of the tournament.
“I thought we were going home up to 60 minutes into the game,” he added.
“To change the mindset, and for us all to keep the belief, it has a lot of power behind it – for ourselves and other teams.”
The Manchester City centre-back also said he is “all good” despite appearing in training with heavy strapping around his knee on Wednesday.
Stones will have to find a new centre-back partner with Marc Guehi suspended for Saturday’s quarter-final, which is being shown live on the BBC.
Criticism makes Southgate ‘want to win even more’
Manager Gareth Southgate will take charge of his 100th game at the weekend, but it hasn’t been easy for the England boss at Euro 2024.
His side have faced jeers – and even some cups being thrown by angry supporters – amid underwhelming performances, but they were greeted by a better reaction after beating Slovakia.
Stones said the criticism Southgate has faced will further motivate the Three Lions manager.
He added: “He pushes it aside, I can only comment on how that’ll only affect him in a good way. It will make him want to win even more, do better. It gets brushed aside very quickly.”
As Southgate nears his landmark century, Stones praised the way the 53-year-old has changed the national team’s “culture” as they look to win a first major trophy.
“The great attributes and qualities he has as a manager – he’s simple and clear with what he wants,” added Stones.
“To be here and try to leave a mark in this tournament is important and we have that goal at the end of it, to do something that has not been done before.”

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