gareth southgate has challenged England to think big as they look to secure a place in the last 16 of the World Cup with a win over the United States.
captain of england harry kane Has overcome an ankle problem to be fit for Friday’s tie at the Al Bayt Stadium.
The win would ensure qualification for the knockout stage and seal progression as winners of Group B Iran And Wales draw first on Friday.
Southgate is looking to go one better than last summer euroWhere England lost to Italy in the final on penalties, which came three years after reaching the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The England manager believes such progress shows his players are putting the country firmly back on the footballing map.
Southgate said, “We think we can remain competitive for years to come and that should really be the aim to be a continued challenger in the later stages of the bigger competitions, something we haven’t done for years.”
“These players are really putting our country on the map. They are regaining our respect on the world stage and we have to keep doing that.”
Kane’s availability could be crucial for England, who opened their tournament in impressive style with a 6-2 win over Iran.
Tottenham forward Kane underwent a scan on his leg after a heavy challenge during England’s opening World Cup win over Iran on Monday.
Kane played for 25 minutes before being replaced by Callum Wilson, but then underwent a precautionary scan after leaving the stadium with a light bandage on his leg.
The Tottenham striker trained at England’s Al Wakrah training base on both Wednesday and Thursday and Southgate revealed he is fit to start against the Americans.
Asked if Kane would be in the squad, Southgate replied: “Harry is good.
“He came through training without any problems, so yes, leaving him out of the starting team would be a bold decision.”
Despite positive mindset after crossing Iran, England will know they’ve got their due America Twice in the last tournament and are still without a win.
The defeat in 1950 is still arguably the biggest ever at the World Cup and the two countries played out a 1–1 draw in their opening game of 2010 in Rustenburg.
Southgate wants his players to change that record and make history, claiming England often talk about their achievements without any real results.
“Have we ever beaten the States in a major tournament? No, I didn’t think so,” he said.
“We have to try and make history, number one. We’re good at it, we’re good at talking about ourselves as a nation based on very little evidence.
“So what we have to do is perform on the field and we know we will be playing a highly motivated team but we have a lot of respect for our opponent.”
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