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Raheem Sterling urged calm and offered some perspective amid criticism of England’s 0-0 draw with Scotland in their second game at Euro 2020.
England have come under intense pressure for their underwhelming performance against Scotland, with expectations high about the team’s prospects having reached the 2018 World Cup semi-finals.
Sterling said the doom and gloom needed to subside, pointing to previous champions at both European Championships and World Cups who had started slowly.
England have four points from their opening two games in Group D, with Sterling scoring the winner in their opening 1-0 victory over Croatia, ahead of Tuesday’s group finale against the Czech Republic.
“[England manager] Gareth [Southgate] showed us some stats on teams that have gone on to do well in the tournament and where they were after the first two games,” Sterling said.
“It just shows that it’s still early days and we’ve got a lot to build on and I truly do believe we can do that.” Portugal drew all three of their group games at Euro 2016, before storming home and beating hosts France in the final.
“I do feel there’s a bit of an overreaction...there’s more of a panic on the outside than inside the building,” Sterling said.
“I don’t see anyone in the camp that feels any pressure or feels hard done by. The best thing we can do is focus on the training field.
“The more you listen to outside noise, the more it can affect you.
The positive is that we can go out on Tuesday, get a good win and that second game is all forgotten about.”
Mount and Chilwell
isolated after contact
with Gilmour
In the meantime, Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell have been isolated ahead of England’s crunch clash after interacting with Scotland’s Billy Gilmour, who has tested
positive for COVID-19.
It emerged on Monday morning that Scotland midfielder Gilmour, who was named Man of the Match against England, was in quarantine having returned a positive test for coronavirus.
A statement from the Football Association (FA) on Monday read: “As a precaution at this time and in consultation with Public Health
England, Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount are isolating after interaction with Scotland player Billy Gilmour at Friday’s match.”
The pair will be kept away from the rest of the England players and wider support team, pending further discussions with Public Health England.
The entire squad had lateral flow tests on Monday afternoon and all were again negative, as was the case with Sunday’s UEFA pre-match PCR tests.
The FA remains in contact with Public Health England as preparations continued at Spurs Lodge for the match against the Czech Republic.
The Three Lions sit one place behind the Czechs heading into Tuesday’s Wembley encounter with the Group D leaders, having followed up a 1-0 win against Croatia with a goalless draw against Scotland.
“We will continue to follow all COVID-19 protocols and the UEFA testing regime, while remaining in close contact with Public Health England,” the FA said.
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