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Gordon challenges England players to take responsibility in Euro 2024 knockouts

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 28 Jun 2024

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England have no more excuses as knockout football awaits at Euro 2024, so says Anthony Gordon, who hopes to feature from the start against Slovakia on Sunday.

Gareth Southgate’s side have failed to live up to pre-tournament expectations but still topped Group C on five points.

The Three Lions overcame Serbia 1-0 in their opener before disappointing draws followed with Denmark and Slovenia.

Those latter two performances have brought questions over England and Southgate’s capabilities, and Gordon acknowledged his side must put in an improved showing in Gelsenkirchen.

“I think as a team we just have to come together, we have to perform when the pressure is high,” the England youngster said at Friday’s pre-match press conference.

“Now we’re into the knockout stages, so there’s no more next game, next team. Now we really have to step up and be the team we can be.

“That’s on us, we’re the ones on the pitch, we’re the ones who can make an impact and change things. So I think that as players, you’ve just got to take responsibility and accountability.

“That’s what football is about. That’s why you want to be in these games, because the pressure is the highest.

“If you win these games, that’s where that feeling is that we chase every day. So I think that’s a positive.”

Gordon has been limited to short cameos off the bench in England’s first three group games, though caught the eyes of Manchester United great Wayne Rooney with his energy down the left flank.

Displacing Phil Foden on that left-hand side remains Gordon’s priority, though the Newcastle United winger insists the side comes before self in tournament football among Southgate’s squad.

“I think frustration is probably the wrong word,” Gordon added when asked about the public outcry for him to feature. “It’s more of a want to play and want to perform on a bigger stage.

“That just comes from my self-belief. I feel like I can impact any game in a positive way. A lot of people have used frustration the past week or so about my minutes, but I think that’s the wrong word.

“I think six months ago, it would have been crazy because I think the opinion of me compared to now is very different, but I’ve worked hard to be in this position and that’s what I want.

“I want people to be calling for me because, like I said before, that’s what I’m doing in training. I’m giving my very best to cause headaches for selection. That’s all I can do. The rest is out of my control.”

Gordon hit the headlines after suffering a nasty blow to his chin when falling off a bike on England’s downtime in Germany.

The 23-year-old, sporting a cut chin and bruised arms, hopes to make light of the situation should the opportunity arise against Slovakia.

“I’ll put the stabilisers next to the pitch, maybe and you lot [the media] can take credit for the celebration,” the forward joked. “I’ll do it though, I will do it, definitely, you’ve got my word.”

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