Sport England boss Gareth Southgate not relying on superstitions to get past Croatia

12:06  11 july  2018
12:06  11 july  2018 Source:   msn.com

Zlatko Dalic feels Croatia full value for victory over England

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The England manager is on the verge of leading his Three Lions to the World Cup final and a shot at immortality. European rivals Croatia stand between the Three Lions and their chance to emulate the legends of 1966.

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Gareth Southgate is not relying on superstition to get past Croatia (Tim Goode/PA) © Provided by The Press Association Gareth Southgate is not relying on superstition to get past Croatia (Tim Goode/PA)

England manager Gareth Southgate found out a long time ago that superstition was not the way for him, and is trusting his side to reach the World Cup final without having to rely on luck or rituals.

The Three Lions have the chance to reach just the second major tournament finale in their history on Wednesday as they take on Croatia in a mouth-watering Luzhniki Stadium semi-final.

Following in the footsteps of the heroes of 1966 had looked a pipe dream this summer, but Southgate has created an impressive bond and shaped his promising team into World Cup challengers.

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Gareth Southgate insists he will not have any superstitions for the World Cup semi-final against Croatia - after his lucky socks let him down. England boss Southgate said: “When I was managing at Middlesbrough we had a game at Reading and I was under a bit of pressure.

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The former defender suffered disappointment when England last reached the last four of a major tournament, missing the crucial spot-kick as Terry Venables’ men bowed out of Euro ’96 in a penalty shootout.

Soccer Football - World Cup - England Press Conference - Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia - July 10, 2018   England manager Gareth Southgate and Jordan Henderson on the pitch after the press conference   REUTERS/Carl Recine © Reuters Soccer Football - World Cup - England Press Conference - Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia - July 10, 2018 England manager Gareth Southgate and Jordan Henderson on the pitch after the press conference REUTERS/Carl Recine

That pain that still haunts the manager, but years of English disappointment is not being felt by players ahead of the biggest match in a generation.

“I think we feel that is of no bearing to this team,” Southgate said. “We’ve been consistent about that. From the off, that was my problem because I’m part of that history.

'He gets caught out ball watching' - Roy Keane picks out moment that ended England's World Cup dream

  'He gets caught out ball watching' - Roy Keane picks out moment that ended England's World Cup dream Roy Keane believes Croatia were worthy winners as England's World Cup dream died in agonising fashion in Moscow. England's hopes of claiming a place in Sunday's final against France faded as a second half goal from Ivan Perisic and an extra time winner from Mario Mandzukic left Gareth Southgate's players shattered, with Keane suggesting the English agony should be laced with pride."It was just a step too far for them," declared Keane. "The next step for England is the biggest step and the hardest step by far, to get to the World Cup final.

Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate is in Moscow for the draw, which will be conducted by ex- England striker Gary Lineker, at the State Kremlin Palace. South Korea (62). France (7). Croatia (18).

Croatia . Gareth Southgate says now is not the time for a post-mortem on England 's sluggish 1-0 win over Slovenia which booked their spot at the 2018 World Cup. Southgate 's men relied on Hart to make a crucial save near the end with the score still at 0-0, but the goalkeeper is looking at the

“They’re getting blamed for what my generation and generations that followed did. But these guys had an opportunity to start from scratch and create their own history. That’s what we’re focused on.

“Most of them weren’t born when a lot of the stories we’re talking about happened, so why as a coach would I try and put that at their door?

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