The Three Lions are set to put their demoralizing defeat to Croatia aside when they face the Red Devils of Belgium in the third-place play-off in Russia.
Mario Manduzukic’s extra-time winner ended England’s hope of securing the World Cup title since 1966. However, the physically and emotionally drained Three Lions are hoping for a final flourish when they confront Belgium in St Petersburg on Saturday.
Manager Gareth Southgate shared his thoughts ahead of the showdown against Roberto Martinez lads saying “The honest thing is it’s not a game any team wants to play in.
“We have two days to prepare. We will want to give a performance of enormous pride. There’s no question about that. It’s always there every time we wear the shirt of our national team; we want to play with pride, we want to play well and win.
“Of course it is going to be a challenging 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.
“But that will be the challenge. I think it is too easy to move on immediately from what we’ve just been through.
“But we will do that, and we’ll make sure we are ready as a group to go again because the group have huge pride in their performances, in the way that they work.”
Man City right-back Kyle Walker tweeted that he had “never felt so gutted” but said he wanted people to remain positive.
I’m still heartbroken and never felt so gutted. But there’s something I want to say. This past month, I’ve seen videos going around, photos been sent to me. That felt so good for us here in Russia, and united us more and more, just like it did in our country. pic.twitter.com/6pY10XaXZq
— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) July 12, 2018
“We might live in a time where sometimes it’s easier to be negative than positive, or to divide than to unite, but England: let’s keep this unity alive. I love you,” he added.
A win for England on Saturday will better the record achieved in Italia 90′ where they lost 2-1 to the host nation in the third-place play-off match. Harry Kane will win the Golden Boot as it currently stands and could still add to his tally of six goals to fend off any opposition to the accolade.