England’s Kalvin Phillips reveals bold penalties stance ahead of World Cup quarter-final vs France
and live on Freeview channel 276
The Three Lions are preparing for all possible outcomes, as they look to get into the last four of the World Cup for the second tournament running. Gareth Southgate’s men have beaten Iran, Wales and Senegal, they drew with the USA while France lost to Tunisia but were very good against Poland in the round of 16.
Southgate has restored belief and a competitive spirit in this team and for those who still doubt him, England won six knock-out games in major tournaments from 1968 to 2016 - Southgate’s side have won six from 2018 to 2022.
As part of the preparations for the game against France, Phillips revealed the team has been practising penalties and he would be glad to take one. He told reporters at England’s training base in Al Wakrah Doha : “We are very confident in ourselves if it is going to go to penalties. We’ve got amazing penalty takers anyway. I am very easy on taking a penalty. I am an easy person. If Gareth said I was first up, I would be like, ‘That’s fine.’ If he said I wasn’t, I’d be like, ‘That’s fine’.”
There had been doubts as to whether Phillips would be fit enough for the World Cup, but his manager stood by him and picked him immediately after he returned to the pitch with the Citizens as show of trust he has in him.
Asked how he stayed positive even in the midst of doubt, the Manchester City man said he got closer to family to make things easy for himself. He said: “Just (spending more time) with the people around me to be honest and seeing my family as well. That has been a big boost. It is the lads who I have trained with every day, particularly the ones that haven’t played as much that have kept me going.
“I have been a bit down in training a couple of times, because I felt like I could have played or I wanted to be on the pitch and it didn’t happen. They’ve always had their arm around me and helped me a little bit. I have been a lot happier since getting back into camp. The lads have been great with me. Sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture and the little role you can play to help the lads progress.”