In the lead-up to England’s pivotal Euro 2024 group stage encounter against Slovenia, manager Gareth Southgate exuded confidence and determination during a press conference aimed at addressing recent setbacks and outlining his team’s strategy moving forward.


England players celebrating their win against Ukraine

After a disappointing draw against Denmark, Southgate did not shy away from acknowledging the team’s need for improvement.

“We have had time on the training pitch and plenty of discussions with the players,” he stated. “We’re very clear on where we need to be better. We haven’t hidden from that. We have a very open dialogue with players and staff, and we’re all on the same page.”

The manager emphasized that while preparations have been thorough, the true test lies in executing the game plan on the field.

“Whatever I say is fairly irrelevant; we have to go and produce it on the pitch,” he emphasized, expressing his expectation for a better performance in the upcoming match.

Accompanying Southgate was Declan Rice, whose adaptability and commitment to the team’s cause were highlighted during the conference. Rice discussed his positional flexibility, crucial in light of England’s midfield dynamics.
“I can play both; I’m happy to play eight, I’m happy to play six,” Rice affirmed, underlining his readiness to contribute wherever needed for the national squad.

Looking ahead to the challenge posed by Slovenia, both Southgate and Rice acknowledged the opponent’s strengths despite their comparative lack of high-profile club experience.

“I’ve watched Slovenia’s first two group games, and they’ve actually been really good,” Rice remarked. “They have a lot of strong, fast players, and tomorrow’s going to be really tough.”

Southgate echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the need to approach Slovenia with respect and readiness.

“When you play teams like Slovenia, you know what you’re going to get,” he cautioned. “They’re going to come at us, they’re going to want to win the game, and they’re going to want to shock the world.”

In terms of preparation and mindset, Southgate conveyed optimism and a firm belief in his team’s abilities.

“We know what we need to do, and we’re ready to go out there and deliver,” he affirmed, signaling a determined approach to securing a positive result against Slovenia.

As England gears up for this critical fixture, the focus remains on bouncing back from recent disappointments and securing a place in the knockout stages of Euro 2024. Fans across the nation will be anticipating a strong performance that not only secures qualification but also boosts team morale and confidence for the challenges that lie ahead in the tournament.

In conclusion, Gareth Southgate and his squad are poised for a decisive battle against Slovenia, aiming to translate their preparations and determination into a successful outcome on the pitch. The match promises to be a test of character and skill, with England’s aspirations for Euro 2024 glory hanging in the balance.


Story by Anthony Juma