After Croatia defeat, England prepares for game they don't want

Published 13.07.2018 00:00

England manager Gareth Southgate now has to prepare his side for the consolation game for third place on Saturday after his were beaten by Croatia in their World Cup semi-final.

While Croatia now take on France in the final on Sunday in Moscow, England play Belgium – their group opponents – on Saturday in St Petersburg.

Belgium won the group match 1-0 when both Southgate and his opposite number, Roberto Martinez, rested most of their preferred starters.

"It's not a game any team wants to play in," Southgate said. "We have two days to prepare. We will want to give a performance of huge pride. … Every time we wear the shirt we want to play well and win. It's going to be a really difficult task. We've made such strides with our supporters and public that we want to continue to do that."

In the aftermath of defeat in Luzhniki Stadium, defender Harry Maguire said it would be hard to recover for the match against Belgium. "People have different opinions of third and fourth play-off games. I'll keep mine to myself," he said, adding: "When you get beaten in the semi-final, the hardest thing is to prepare for a next game, especially when it's in two days time. It's going to be hard, no doubt about it. I think we really want now to put a performance on and try to give the fans another reason to be proud of us."

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