Russia 2018: England Coach Says Three Lions Ready For Tunisia
England coach, Gareth Southgate, says his side are prepared as they begin their 2018 World Cup campaign against Tunisia on Monday.
Tunisia, playing in the Volgograd Arena, will be hoping to avoid defeat after three African countries – Egypt, Morocco and Nigeria, already lost their opening matches.
Southgate has already shown confidence by releasing his starting XI 48 hours before kickoff.
“I am conscious of that when I was a player, there were moments before the game when I thought, ‘all the manager can do now is f*** it up for me and put me off my game’ - because I was ready and didn’t want to hear too much more.
“I think the boys are ready. We tried to put in as much tactical information in the early part of the week so that the last session was about enjoyment, feeling the ball and being physically ready for the game.
“There will be some key messages, but it will really just be around transferring what they are doing every day because the level they are playing at every day is high - and is getting better all the time.
“It’s competitive and that is really important, because you can’t step it up going into matches.
“But they won’t need to step it up from what they have been doing in training, because that level they have been hitting is high.”
England have won just five of 26 opening games at major tournaments and have a habit of leaving themselves on the back foot.
England beat Nigeria 2-1 in a pre-World Cup friendly in June.
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