London. Denmark captain Kasper Hjolmand believes all the pressure is on England.
But not if you look at European championships historically, says Gareth Southgate.
If we were a country that won five titles, I might feel differently. But the captain of the league points out that we are not.
Denmark captain Kasper Hjolmand has captured England’s clear opponent in the European Championship semi-final: the match will be played at London’s Wembley Stadium.
In addition, the Danes cannot travel to the UK for the match because quarantine is required, which means overwhelming support for the home team.
– Of course, the press in England. We also know we have to take advantage of the situation, says Hjulmand.
There are psychological factors in the game. They have a lot of supporters but we have to remember that it comes with a lot of pressure and high expectations. So I don’t think it will be that easy for them.
‘Stress can be a trigger’
But if the Dane thinks he will Gareth Southgate Unbalanced thinks it wrong. The England captain believes the Three Lions have been under a lot of pressure since the opening game and they have handled the situations well.
– But we’ve never been to an EC final before, so the press is going to be what you make of it. Personally, I think pressure can act as a motivator. If we were a country that won five titles, I might have felt differently. But we are not, says Southgate and adds with a small smile:
Denmark has won before. Could there be more pressure on them to repeat it? But that’s not how we look at this match. We know it’s about being the best at the moment and we’ll prepare in the best possible way.
“You want to keep breaking down barriers”
Southgate followed his 1992 European Championship victory with great interest.
We obviously have great respect for the Danes. I’m old enough to remember when they won, says the league captain who has “always been impressed with how Denmark produces players”.
– But we have broken barriers throughout the tournament and we want to continue to do so. We never went to the final. This may be the first that is exciting for everyone.
Captain Harry Kane doesn’t underestimate Denmark either. Especially after the matches last fall that ended in a 0-0 draw and 0-1 loss.
It’s a really good team, they have some great players. Kane says their greatest strength is perhaps the collective.
– It is difficult to break, and it does not concede many goals and score many goals in the future. The Nations League matches were tough, a man was sent off in one as well. These are things we can learn from. We expect a tough game but we have enough confidence in this team that we can win.
Sportbladet – Allsvenskan
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