Premier League

‘Inside I’m hurting’ – Declan Rice on England’s sorry loss to Iceland

'Inside I'm hurting' - Declan Rice on England's sorry loss to Iceland

Declan Rice wasn’t afraid to express his pain in the aftermath of England’s defeat to Iceland on Friday night, acknowledging that the Three Lions have much to improve before their opening match of the European Championships.

Gareth Southgate’s side fell to a surprise 1-0 loss at Wembley in their final warm-up friendly, with the solitary goal scored by Jon Thorsteinsson.

Both the result and the performance fell short of ideal preparation for England, who are seeking their first major trophy in 58 years at Euro 2024 this summer.

“Inside, I am hurting,” Rice said to Channel 4 post-match. “Between now and the next game, there is work to be done. We need to put things right.

“There’s no doubt about our quality on the ball, as a group, as a bunch of 26. We have an outstanding set of attributes. But we need to be a bit more mentally switched on.

“I felt at times tonight we were a bit exposed with our press, we were a little bit stretched, not as compact as we usually are.”

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England will kick off their Euro 2024 campaign against Serbia on June 16, with many supporters hopeful that the Three Lions can redeem themselves.

Rice firmly believes he and his teammates can reignite Euro fever in the nation, looking to the positives from defeat against Iceland.

“Obviously getting beat 1-0 at home just before a Euros isn’t ideal,” he added. “But look, I’m going to focus on the positives. There were a lot of promising performances tonight and I felt, on the pitch, we played with a good tempo, always tried to play forward, be more attacking, be a threat.

“It’s not ideal that we lost but there are also some good learning curves from tonight that we can build on from as a team.”


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