"The dressing-room is a really hard place at the moment".
Jubilant Croatian fans honked their vehicle horns and let off fireworks while England fans sobbed and looked to the future with confidence after Mario Mandzukic's extra-time victor took Croatia to its first World Cup final. We have three days to prepare ourselves. "We restored some pride back into the shirt, which was an important thing for us to do".
"Of course it is going to be a really hard task over the next 24 hours to assess everybody and to get everybody mentally back to where we want them for a game like that". I don't realistically think any of us did.
Croatia looked vulnerable from set-pieces against Russian Federation, conceding the equaliser in extra-time via a set-play, so this is an area England can exploit. "You've made us smile, made us proud, made us believe, every one of you a hero".
A $100 bet on England would net you a $200 profit if they were to win in regulation, but keep in mind that England just played an extra 30 minutes and has a day's less rest. We beat our record from 20 years ago.
"It's hard to put that into context now, and a bit too soon". It's clear to everybody the progress that's been made in terms of the level of performance and togetherness of the group. "We've proved to ourselves and our country that is possible".
The surge of support for Southgate is a remarkable turnaround from the mid-1990s when he was ridiculed for missing a decisive penalty in England's semi-final shootout defeat to Germany at the 1996 European Championships.
The England boss was also asked if the team's leading scorer Harry Kane had exhausted as the tournament progressed and was perhaps missing his cutting edge in the semifinals. "He's given absolutely everything for the team", Southgate said. "We couldn't control the ball or control situations", said Lovren. "I can't ask more of him as a captain or as a man over the last three weeks".
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