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Jamie Vardy sends Gareth Southgate update ahead of World Cup semi-final

10 July 2018
Jamie Vardy sends Gareth Southgate update ahead of World Cup semi-final

Although Croatia went on to suffer an agonising 2-1 defeat to host nation France in the semi-finals, they beat the Netherlands 2-1 in the third-place playoff.

Hurst said none of the three teams still in Russian Federation should frighten England.

England failed to get out of the group at the previous World Cup and two years ago they were embarrassingly dumped out of Euro 2016 by Iceland.

England secured their first semi-final place in the tournament for 28 years after seeing off Sweden 2-0 on Saturday, with only Croatia standing in their way of reaching the final following their dramatic penalty shootout victory against hosts Russian Federation. "That in future we talk about them", said Blazevic, now 83, and known in Croatia as the "coach of all coaches". "How they're still held and revered".

"At the beginning we were working together with the lads and trying to sell them the vision of what's possible, what we're looking to achieve in the long-term".

The 76-year-old - who scored a hat-trick in the final at Wembley against West Germany - told the Sun newspaper that Southgate had fostered an impressive spirit of togetherness in the squad.

"One hundred per cent I think you can see that in the way that we play, everybody the whole 23, willing to put everything aside, whatever their personal interests might be, purely for the team to be successful", he said. "Maybe that's because they are quite young and have their careers still in front of them".

"Gareth, good luck. Stick to what you're doing, I'm behind you", he added.

"It's a great opportunity", the England defender said. We've been playing well, we're learning and we're all enjoying it.

England have managed to improve as a national squad under Gareth Southgate, who is leading the team in their first worldwide tournament since the 2016 European Championship, where former manager Roy Hodgson's contract ended following a 2-1 loss to Iceland.