Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Watkins predicted Palmer would set him up for England winner

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 10 Jul 2024


Ollie Watkins told Cole Palmer he would set him up for a goal as they were waiting to come on for England.

The forward then scored the winning goal, assisted by Palmer, to seal a 2-1 win over the Netherlands and book their place in the Euro 2024 final.

The Three Lions had to come from behind once again after Xavi Simons’ early goal gave the Netherlands the lead, before Harry Kane levelled from the spot shortly after.

Asked about his goal, Watkins said he knew what to expect as soon as Palmer got the ball at his feet.

“I’ve been waiting for that moment for weeks,” Watkins told ITV Sport after the game.

“It’s taken a lot of hard work to get to where I am today. Grateful I got the opportunity, and I grabbed it with both hands. I’m delighted.

“I swear on my life and my kid’s life, I said to Cole Palmer: We’re coming on today and you’re gonna set me up.

“And that’s why I was so happy with Coley. I knew as soon as he got the ball, he was gonna play me and you’ve got to be greedy.

“Touch and finish. When I saw it go in the bottom corner, best feeling ever.”

One criticism of Gareth Southgate at the tournament so far has been the timing of his substitutions, with the England manager often choosing to leave it late before making any changes.

Watkins has defended his manager’s tactics, crediting the “special” nature of the squad.

“There’s been a lot of critiscism but at the end of the day we’re in the final,” he added. “So forget the outside noise, we’re in the final.

“It’s special. We’ve got that bounce-back factor. Going a goal behind seems to kick us into gear.

“We never give up. We’ve won on penalties, we’ve come from behind. One more game. We’re ready for Spain.”


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