Premier League

Gareth Southgate hits out at English ‘entitlement’ ahead of Switzerland showdown

Declan Rice

England boss Gareth Southgate believes the notion his side have a favourable route to glory at Euro 2024 is a ‘classic example of entitlement’.

The Three Lions face Switzerland in the quarter-finals of this summers European Championships on Saturday, and they will face either the Netherlands or Turkey in the semi-finals should they advance.

This comes after England finished top of a group comprising of Serbia, Denmark and Slovenia, while they just about saw off Slovakia after extra-time in the last 16.

Southgate’s side have also been able to avoid the likes of Spain, France, Germany and Portugal as they are all on the other half of the tournament bracket.

But at a press conference on Friday, the England head coach did not take kindly to the suggestion that he could use the idea of an easier draw as motivation for his players.

Declan Rice

England have limped through Euro 2024 to this point / Carl Recine/GettyImages

“I would say that’s a classic example of the sort of entitlement we have as a nation that creates drama and annoys our opponents,” Southgate retorted.

“We’re playing a really strong football nation who have played exceptionally well, well-prepared, have enormous pride. Our focus is on how do we win this game, and how do we play to the best of our ability.

“As you rightly said, we’ve never been to a final outside England, we’ve only had two finals in our history, three semi-finals. So lots of nations who we might perceive as English people to be smaller have had far better records than us, in terms of winning things, in terms of getting to the latter stages of finals.

“It’s half the problem we have. We’re ready for tomorrow and as a team we definitely have huge respect for our opponents, and we know we’ve got to be at our very best to be able to win the game.”

Switzerland have already eliminated Italy en route to the quarter-finals, while they were denied a win against hosts Germany in the group stages due to a last-gasp equaliser from Niclas Fullkrug.

The Swiss are expected to have injury doubt Granit Xhaka available to face England after he took part in training this week.

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