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UK News

England star says 60,000 fans at Wembley for Euro semis is ‘extra motivation’ for Ukraine clash

today01/07/2021

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England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford says there is extra motivation to beat Ukraine in Rome in the Euro 2020 quarter-finals so the team can return to Wembley to play in front of 60,000 fans.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s crunch Euro 2020 tie, Pickford, 27, said the fans were “tremendous” during the group stages and against Germany.

But England fans have been told not to attend the quarter-final in the Italian capital due to strict travel restrictions imposed by both the Italian and UK governments.

Soccer Football - Euro 2020 - Round of 16 - England v Germany - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - June 29, 2021 General view inside the stadium after the match Pool via REUTERS/Catherine Ivill
Image: A raucous crowd cheered England on in their last-16 tie against Germany at Wembley

Italy is on the UK’s amber travel list and the Italian embassy in London said on Thursday that “anybody who has been in the UK in the previous 14 days, irrespective of their nationality or residency will not be admitted to the stadium (Stadio Olimpico), even if they have a ticket”.

England were roared on by a raucous Wembley crowd as they beat Germany on Tuesday and Pickford feels that has given the squad more impetus to win the quarter-final and return home for the semis.

“We’ve got to create our own atmosphere in Rome, which we are capable of doing,” he said.

“The fans were tremendous the other night and throughout the group stages as well so I think that gives us added motivation for the game, to come back to a semi-final with 60,000 fans.”

More on Euro 2020

Pickford has started all of England’s games at Euro 2020, keeping four clean sheets along the way.

He has also kept 12 clean sheets in 18 games for club and country.

Jordan Pickford made a big save in the first half to help England keep their fourth clean sheet at Euro 2020
Image: Pickford made a big save in each half to help England keep their fourth clean sheet at Euro 2020 on their way to the quarter-final

Despite his good form, including two key saves against Germany, the Everton goalkeeper has heaped praise on his England teammates.

He said: “For me, it is very good, and it is really nice, but it is not just me, it is the full 11 and everyone working really hard to keep those clean sheets.

“It (Germany) was a good game and for me, it was a good game, I was in the moment and I have got to be in the moment for England – and I felt I was there, making saves when I have got to.

“You have just got to be ready, concentration levels have got to be high and I’ve just got to be 100 per cent all through the game.”

Thomas Mueller holds his head in his hands after missing a golden chance to equalise
Image: Pickford has been praised for his performances in the tournament so far

Pickford has firmly cemented himself as Gareth Southgate’s number one between the sticks but he has hailed the work done by back-up keepers Aaron Ramsdale and Sam Johnstone.

“We work hard every day. You have got to be on your game, not cutting corners. We work hard and share the load and get the best out of each other,” he said.

England will face Ukraine on Saturday at 8pm for a place in the semi-finals against either Denmark or the Czech Republic at Wembley on 7 July.

 Sky News

© Sky News 2021

Written by: Rother Radio News


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today01/07/2021