England boss Gareth Southgate believes that his side will need to be close to perfect if they want to win the World Cup. Expectations have grown after the semi-finals run at the 2018 World Cup before losing out to Italy in the final of the Euro 2020. England is in the first pot of the draw along with the six highest seeds and hosts Qatar. Germany, Netherlands, and Croatia are the teams to be avoided in pot 2.
“We have said to the team this week, ‘if we can get to a semi-final, we can get to a final, and we did. If we can get to a final, we can win’. That’s clear,” England manager Gareth Southgate said. “To do that is incredibly difficult and we’ll have to be as close to perfect as can be. That’s the challenge for us, not just when we get to Qatar, because we’ve got to be in the right condition, even before that. That’s what we’ve got to work towards every day we’re together. We know we’ve had consistent performances over a three, four-year period and we are one of the teams – I think there are a few – that could win this tournament.”
“We’ve definitely got respectability and I think we will be a team other teams wouldn’t look forward to playing. But that’s a double-edged sword though because some teams are going to prepare differently for you,” he added. “You’re there to be shot at and they are going to have a specific way of playing to try and stop you, but some will be a little bit fearful of you and might allow you more of the game, so from our point of view, what really matters is how it makes us feel about ourselves.”