Gareth Southgate admits big strength of his England side is “not luck”

Gareth Southgate is preparing his England side for a Euro 2024 semi-final clash with the Netherlands and the Three Lions boss has admitted that a strength of his squad is “not luck”.

Penalties have been a thorn in the side of the English for many years and Southgate knows this as much as anyone, having missed a crucial spot-kick in a semi-final clash against Germany at Euro 1996, which resulted in England’s elimination.

The 53-year-old has worked on penalties since taking over as coach of England and their record has improved under his watch.

The Three Lions experienced a shoot-out win against Switzerland in the quarter-final and ahead of their semi-final clash against the Dutch, Southgate has admitted that this new strength of his team is “not luck”.

Gareth Southgate after England’s quarter-final win

Watch: England coach Gareth Southgate believes penalties are “not luck”

What was evident in England’s most recent win over Switzerland was how much they prepared for penalties; from the instructions on Jordan Pickford’s water bottle to the buddy system that was in place after a player was done with their spot-kick.

Southgate is trying to get the edge on other nations at Euro 2024 when it comes to penalties and the Three Lions coach has now commented on it as the 53-year-old believes it is an element of the game that he can “take some control of”.

“We feel it is something that you can prepare for and that you can take some control of,” Southgate told BBC. “In my opinion, it’s not a lottery, it’s not luck.

“Of course, the outcome can go either way, but there are a lot of things that you can have influence on and a lot of things that you can control. I think that mindset amongst the group was really clear.”

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