Southgate gamble piles pressure on England for Colombia clash

Russia map Where is Kaliningrad? Is it safe for England fans

Russia map Where is Kaliningrad? Is it safe for England fans

Delph vies with Adnan Januzaj of Belgium during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group G match between England and Belgium at Kaliningrad Stadium on June 28, 2018 in Kaliningrad.

It's because finishing runner-up has given them a perceived "easier" route, avoiding Brazil in the quarter-finals, as they will instead face either Switzerland or Sweden if they can get past Colombia.

"We've done various different studies and had individual practice".

"I think if I keep it on the floor and get a bit of extra detail on the finish it maybe has a chance of going in the far post. We're all fighting, we're all raring to go and we're all looking forward to the next game", commented the midfielder.

"That's very risky (to think like that)", Alli said.

"I think even tonight it was brilliant experience for people like Trent (Alexander-Arnold) and Ruben (Loftus-Cheek) to play in World Cup matches".

Southgate is hoping to lead England to their first knockout win since 2006 in Moscow, where he believes his side will rise to the "fantastic challenge" posed by Colombia and reach the quarter-finals. Gaeth Southgate made no true attempt to beat Belgium and top their group, meaning they find themselves in the easier side of the draw.

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"If we win again tonight, then all of a sudden the reality of where we are might not have been in people's minds".

"We are showing signs of being an exciting football team", Southgate said, having dismissed injury concerns over John Stones and praised Danny Rose.

"We have got 20 outfield players now who have played in a World Cup - that's hugely important for the feeling in our camp over the next few weeks". Had the game finished in a draw, England would have topped the group on the newly introduced fair play rule and set up a last-16 game with Japan.

He featured heavily in the remainder of the qualifying campaign but when the tournament came around, he was unused sub in all four games England played.

None of the big guns like Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Raheem Sterling were summoned from the bench with Gareth Southgate's team chasing the game.

Martinez has hailed the pleasure his whole squad have been taking on the pitch and has worked to build a team spirit where clashes of egos bedevilled the Belgians under his predecessor Marc Wilmots at the last World Cup and at Euro 2016. Though momentum was halted, the path to the semi finals was very much opened up, and while some corners have not taken kindly to the foresight of this whilst there's still a very capable opponent - Colombia - waiting in the last 16, the logic is there.

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