With Gareth Southgate at helm, England start to believe

With Gareth Southgate at helm, England start to believe

With Gareth Southgate at helm, England start to believe

He played in 1990 when England faced West Germany in the World Cup semi-final, but missed the decisive penalty that ultimately saw them bow out.

The Three Lions will face Croatia in the semi-finals after it overcame Russian Federation in a dramatic penalty shootout and, should it win that match-up, will go on to play either France or Belgium in the final.

That generation of players had a mix of the youth of Paul Gascoigne and the experience of Peter Shilton and Gary Lineker, whereas the current crop of England players have a much more youthful look to them.

Chants of "it's coming home" broke out as England's place in the semi-finals was secured, with the game set to take place in Moscow on Wednesday night.

"I am excited and confident they can go and deliver again", the new Rangers boss said.

"Football can bring connection through a country and I'm delighted we are exciting people, bringing enjoyment and we want to keep it going", added Southgate, who himself has risen to prominence during the tournament with his calm style earning plaudits.

"It's quite odd for me to witness all the hype and the crowds and how excited they are because that's what it must have been (like) in Italia 90 when we got to the semis", he explained.

"I think the occasion got to Sweden but England overcame that trepidation".

His partner, Swedish expatriate Linn Boldt-Christmas, 23, said she was very proud of her nation.

"It's important we remember Steve (Holland) was at Crewe".

"But we have had the right attitude, mentality and willingness to fight".

"We are a team that are still improving, we know where we are and we are having success because everybody is working hard on the field", the manager said.

"No passengers, nobody failing to close down, nobody strolling around". We believe we can still improve a lot, so we will try to do that.

In the later match in Sochi, Russia's fairytale run came to a halt as they were beaten on penalties by Croatia after 120 gruelling minutes of football.

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