Southgate says communicating with Russian people was 'wonderful experience'

Gareth Southgate

Southgate preferred to focus on the positives. "One thing that makes me happy is that all my players tell me whether they are not 100 percent", Dalic told reporters.

"For me, it should never be about you". We feel we can get a lot better as a team and as a group. I couldn't ask for any more from the players.

"The good thing is we've had really mature conversations about it and now we've got to build on the squad that went out to Russian Federation".

"Equally, the game against Belgium was a reminder to us that, although the second half was probably one of our best performances in the tournament, they had some outstanding players that made a difference on the day, and that's the level that we've got to get to". We will get the energy.

"We have to put that game behind us", Rakitic said.

"We have to just constantly try to evolve and improve".

"Of course there was always a big problem on the counter-attack because of the way the opposition play and the quality of their individuals".

"We are very proud of what we have done". The confidence he has instilled in the team, his man-management skills are really, really top.

"We haven't hidden in terms of where we see our progress, but we also leave here having progressed a lot as a team. Against the best teams, we have come up short".

Sagan wins 5th stage to consolidate points lead
The Dutchman was seventh going into this stage, only 13 seconds behind Van Avermaet, but will now be a minute behind. But Bardet was able to pace his way back alongside Landa and the duo lost just seven seconds to Froome's group.

Maguire, however, has insisted that Southgate's willingness to trust his players and bring in a new style of football will stand the team in good stead moving forward. Its 2-1 semifinal defeat by Croatia prevented it from reaching a first final in 52 years.

England arrived back at Birmingham airport on Sunday afternoon with one victor among their ranks, as Harry Kane was confirmed as the victor of the Golden Boot.

Southgate suggested Phil Jones, who played both games against Belgium in Russian Federation, had a long-term future within the set-up but suggested Gary Cahill, at 32, may play less of a role after an global career that has spanned eight years, four permanent managers and 61 caps.

Croatia regularly plays home games in empty stadiums because of disciplinary orders from Federation Internationale de Football Association and UEFA.

"So the defeats have, I think, been hugely important for our development as well. He [Kane] has captained the team exceptionally well, he has led the culture we are trying to create".

"It's got to become more hard to get into the senior squad".

Barcelona midfielder Rakitic has played an integral role in his country's unexpected march to Sunday's final against France in Moscow. He doesn't want to finish and I don't want him to finish either.

Southgate spoke eloquently in a post-match press conference that he rounded off by thanking the tournament organisers, volunteers, English media and the Russian hosts.

We owe it to our people.

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