Gareth Southgate believes England are “mentally and physically” ready for another penalty shootout if Sunday’s World Cup last-16 clash against Senegal goes down to the wire.
The national team’s spot-kick issues are well documented, with all three World Cup shootouts ending in defeat before beating Colombia in the last 16 four years ago in Russia.
England followed that by winning bronze on spot-kicks at the Nations League finals against Switzerland in 2019, only for penalties to prove their undoing in last year’s European Championship final.
Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka failed with their attempts in a heartbreaking loss that Southgate is confident they have learned from ahead of the World Cup knockout phase getting under way in Qatar.
“Well, like every other aspect of our game, we’re prepared and we’ve had a process that we’ve followed,” said the England boss, who missed his penalty in the Euro 96 semi-final defeat to Germany.
“We’ve had three shoot-outs, we’ve won two, so inevitably the one that you don’t get over the line you reflect and you think about how you can improve those processes.
“We’ve done that over the last few months, in particular, but of course, there is so many other aspects to the game that we’ve got to get right.
“We’re aiming to win the game and to avoid extra time if you can, and to avoid penalties if you can, because you’d like to get a victory in 90 minutes.
“But if we need to go 120 minutes, if we need to go beyond that, then we’ve got to be ready for that mentally and physically. And I believe we are.”
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe