Sunday, August 1, 2021

´There´s an overreaction´ – Sterling offers perspective amid England doom and gloom

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 21 Jun 2021

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Raheem Sterling urged calm and offered some perspective amid criticism of England’s 0-0 draw with Scotland in their second game at Euro 2020.

England have come under intense pressure for their underwhelming performance against Scotland, with expectations high about the team’s prospects having reached the 2018 World Cup semi-finals.

Sterling said the doom and gloom needed to subside, pointing to previous champions at both European Championships and World Cups who had started slowly.

England have four points from their opening two games in Group D, with Sterling scoring the winner in their opening 1-0 victory over Croatia, ahead of Tuesday’s group finale against the Czech Republic.

“[England manager] Gareth [Southgate] showed us some stats on teams that have gone on to do well in the tournament and where they were after the first two games,” Sterling said.

“It just shows that it’s still early days and we’ve got a lot to build on and I truly do believe we can do that.”

He added: “This was another scenario where we’ve got four points, it’s not the end of the world. He tried to make us look at all the positives.

“He’s just showing us in previous tournaments that it’s not every team that wins their first few games that goes on to win.

“Sometimes, teams that have drawn their first two games have gone on to win so we’ve just got to stay motivated, be happy and enjoy our football.”

Portugal drew all three of their group games at Euro 2016, before storming home and beating hosts France in the final.

Denmark’s 1992 European triumph as well as the Netherlands in 1988 were other examples of eventual champions starting slow.

“I do feel there’s a bit of an overreaction … there’s more of a panic on the outside than inside the building,” Sterling said.

“I don’t see anyone in the camp that feels any pressure or feels hard done by. The best thing we can do is focus on the training field.

“The more you listen to outside noise, the more it can affect you. The positive is that we can go out on Tuesday, get a good win and that second game is all forgotten about.”

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