'We can win it!' England boss Gareth Southgate excited for World Cup 2022 draw

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GARETH SOUTHGATE goes into today’s World Cup draw with the message every England fan wants to hear. We can win it. In the past, England managers have been nervous about building up expectations, but after reaching the semi-finals at the last World Cup in 2018 and losing in the Euro 2020 final, Southgate believes his side are now ready to take that extra step.

What is more, it was the same message he has left his players with after the recent international get-together. Southgate said: “What have we said to the team this week? That if we can get to a semi final, we can get to a final. And we did. If we can get to a final, we can win. That’s clear.”

Southgate even let slip that, rather than see it as a personal achievement, he has been visualising how Harry Kane might look lifting the trophy.

“Well, my visions are always about the team and what they would do,” he said. “And how that would look.”

England are guaranteed to be in Pot 1 for the group stages with the other leading seeds, Brazil, Belgium, France, Argentina, Spain, Portugal and hosts Qatar. The Three Lions fate will be determined in a glitzy ceremony in the Doha Exhibition and Conference Centre starting at 5pm BST.

For all his confidence, Southgate is under no illusions how difficult the task will be.

“To do that is incredibly difficult and we’ll have to be as close to perfect as can be,” he said. “That’s the challenge for us, not just when we get to Qatar. Because we’ve got to be in the right condition, even before that. That’s what we’ve got to work towards everyday we’re together.”

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BOREDOM at the World Cup could be the biggest problem ever with regulations confining England to the same hotel for the entire tournament. Usually at finals, teams de-camp to a “match” hotel on the eve of each of their games, where they stay for one or two nights.

But because Qatar is such a small country – the biggest distance between venues is 40 miles – teams will remain at their bases without moving around.

Southgate explained: “The ‘watch out’ for us is you don’t even move hotel the night before the game, so how do you switch the mindset from, ‘This is just another training day’ to that feeling when you go on the road and think, ‘Okay, it’s match day tomorrow, we’re into a different hotel’.

“Because that does actually switch the players’ minds, so we’re going to perhaps have to consider those aspects of it to make sure it’s not just a long continual drag.”

Confirmation will come when all 32 finalists are known, but England have their eyes on a five-star resort hotel in the fishing village of Al Wakrah, 10 miles south of the capital Doha, the city where most of the matches will be played.



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