Gareth Southgate said he was ‘looking forward’ to the Euro 2020 semi-finals after leading England to a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Ukraine – but knows his players next face a dangerous Denmark team ‘riding a wave of emotion’ at the tournament.
The emphatic result also meant England became the first team in European Championship history to register a clean sheet in each of their first five matches of the tournament and Southgate’s squad are clearly bursting with confidence at the best possible time.
It set up a titanic clash back at Wembley with Denmark in the next round, a side that England failed to beat in either of their Nations League meetings just last year.
The Danes – who saw off the Czech Republic to reach the semi-finals – have responded heroically after witnessing star team-mate, Christian Eriksen, suffer a cardiac arrest in their opening defeat to Finland and Southgate is aware of the challenge that awaits his team.
‘We know that we had two games with Denmark in the autumn and I knew what a good side they were before and they’ve proven that again in this tournament,’ the England head coach told reporters at his post-match press conference.
‘They’re obviously riding a wave of emotion after what happened with Christian as well and that’s understandable.
‘It’s going to be a fantastic game to be a part of. We have got more experience as a group of those sorts of games and individually the players have got experience of them which is definitely helpful.
‘But we’ve got to do that now on Wednesday night.’
Kane expects a ‘tough game’ against Denmark but believes England must concentrate on themselves rather than the opposition.
‘First and foremost they’re a great team. We played them in the Nations League twice last year and we didn’t win one game: one draw and one loss,’ the England captain said.
‘They’ve bounced back after a tough start for them and they’ve been building momentum ever since.
‘But we need to try and focus on ourselves. It’s a semi-final at our national stadium and we’ve got to use all those positives to worry about us.
‘We know it’s going to be a tough game, we’re going to have to be on it 100 per cent, but we know as well that if we get it right and play how we know we can then we have a great opportunity to get to a final.
‘Our full focus is on that and that’s what we’re going to try and achieve.’
MORE : Ukraine boss Andriy Shevchenko rates England’s Euro 2020 chances and highlights ‘massive advantage’ all four semi-finalists benefitted from
MORE : Jose Mourinho warns England to expect ‘difficult’ Euro 2020 semi-final against Denmark after Ukraine thrashing
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