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Expectation has weighed heavily - Southgate

Expectation has weighed heavily - Southgate
England manager, Gareth Southgate, believes his squad has overcome the weight of expectation heading into their Euro 2024 semi-final clash against the Netherlands. The team, who won one and drew two group stage games before squeezing past Slovakia and Switzerland in tense knockout rounds, struggled to find their rhythm initially.
Expectation has weighed heavily - Southgate
Southgate acknowledged that the constant pressure from outside had been heavier than ever before, but the team is now in a better place mentally. England captain Harry Kane echoes that sentiment, stating that the team has learned to leverage past experiences to navigate tough encounters. Both are confident that England has the potential to make history and reach back-to-back European Championship finals.
Expectation has weighed heavily - Southgate
England's path to the semi-finals was far from smooth, and their opponent, the Netherlands, defeated France in a thrilling encounter. The Netherlands' journey to Dortmund was disrupted by a train cancellation, forcing them to fly in from Wolfsburg with pre-match press conferences cancelled.

Southgate remained tight-lipped about starting lineups, refusing to pre-empt potential substitutions. He emphasized his focus on assessing the game's flow during the match to make suitable decisions, leaving the possibility for defender Luke Shaw's return from injury open.

Southgate dismisses any concerns about the German referee for the match, Felix Zwayer, despite a past controversy involving Jude Bellingham and a match-fixing ban.

Although the Netherlands' arrival was chaotic, and England's journey to the semi-finals was fraught with challenges, Gareth Southgate's focus lies on the opportunity to make history and advance to the Euro 2024 final. The match promises to be a high-stakes encounter with both teams striving for victory.  
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