Gareth Southgate urged England to seize their chance to win Euro 2020 after Tuesday’s historic 2-0 victory against Germany set up a quarter-final clash with Ukraine.
With old nemesis Germany finally vanquished, Southgate’s side have a golden opportunity to lift England’s first major international trophy since the 1966 World Cup.
England’s cathartic last-16 win over the Germans at raucous Wembley on Tuesday was a landmark moment after decades of misery at the hands of Die Mannschaft.
Knocked out of the 1970, 1990 and 2010 World Cups by Germany, who also beat them in the Euro 96 semi-finals, England held their nerve in a tense clash as second-half goals from Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane sent Wembley into ecstasy.
But while England fans bellowed “Football’s coming home” in celebration of the long-awaited victory, Southgate knows the memorable evening will count for little if they don’t win the tournament.
“It didn’t really need me to say it but when we got in the dressing room, we were talking about Saturday already,” Southgate said.
“It was an immense performance but at a cost, emotionally and physically, and we’ve got to make sure that we recover well and that mentally we’re in the right space.
“It’s a dangerous moment for us. We’ll have that warmth of success and the feeling around the country that we’ve only got to turn up to win the thing.
“We know it’s going to be an immense challenge from here on. I think the players know that.”