Thursday, July 25, 2024

Teamwork key to success against England, says Skriniar

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 28 Jun 2024

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Slovakia captain Milan Skriniar highlighted teamwork as the key to success against England ahead of their last-16 meeting with the Three Lions on Sunday.

England finished top of Group C with five points following underwhelming performances against Denmark and Slovenia as they limped into the last-16.

Meanwhile, Slovakia progressed as one of the best third-placed teams after drawing with Romania on Matchday 3, setting up a second meeting in a major tournament against England in Gelsenkirchen.

Skriniar accepts that Gareth Southgate’s side have more individual talent within their ranks but believes his team can pull off a shock by working together as a collective.

“In my opinion, they rely on individual quality and they know that they have players who can decide matches for them,” Skriniar said. “That’s why I think we can handle them through teamwork.”

Following the full-time whistle in Cologne, Southgate and his players were greeted with boos from the travelling England support.

It brings increasing pressure onto the shoulders of the Three Lions head coach and his players, something Skriniar believes has already affected them in Germany.

“Even in the first match (a 1-0 win for England over Serbia), they went in with the fact that they are England, and they have to manage things in terms of results.

“The media and fans (have been critical) after their matches, so they will be under much more pressure than us. It can work in our favour.”

Having said that, the Paris Saint-Germain defender insists his side will not just sit back and will aim to take the game to England.

“The defensive phase will definitely be important, we have to start defending from the attackers. But the key is to play football,” Skriniar said.

“We have to show them that we can play. Let them know that they are up against a team that knows what it wants.”

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