Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Dora Pope

Gareth Southgate wants England to 'send people to work happy'

Gareth Southgate wants England to 'send people to work happy'

"I'd love to win everything with Tottenham, but for me personally the World Cup outweighs them all".

The previous day, England boss Gareth Southgate acknowledged a "slight knock" but insisted it was "nothing too serious", the player's training absence thought to be merely a precautionary decision.

England face Tunisia in their opening Group G fixture on Monday, before taking on Panama and Belgium. France and Portugal are other possible opponents at this stage - as are England's Euro 2016 conquerors Iceland.

Former England and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand also said recently that he cherishes his club successes and considers them more important to him than anything he did for England.

"I've talked before about there being a disconnect between the supporters and the team", Southgate said.

"It's not something we've had to deal with really - we all get on very well and have come through the ranks together", said Kane.

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"We have another week of preparation and a lot of competition for places, as you know", Southgate told reporters on Tuesday upon arrival at Pulkovo Airport in St. Petersburg.

"We know we are not the finished article, in fact we're a long way from that, but I think people see signs of progress and enjoy watching us and the manner in which we try to play".

Ever since England won the World Cup in 1966 and thus set unrealistically high expectations for every squad that proceeded them, the relationship between the media and the England team has grown increasingly toxic.

"I would be surprised if the majority of players did not say the World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world". Our focus as a team has to be on the bits we can control: constantly trying to improve, playing in a style that we've used in the a year ago or so, and that people have warmed to.

"If we do all of those things and we play with a smile on our face, enjoy our football, enjoy being in a tournament, then I think we will get results".

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