Gareth Southgate: Colombia clash is England's biggest in a decade

Gareth Southgate: Colombia clash is England's biggest in a decade

Before England even get a chance to potentially play Sweden in the quarter finals, they need to beat Colombia on Tuesday night in the round of 16.

Southgate felt England were slightly unfortunate not to escape with a point against Belgium. I went to two of their games in Brazil - they were incredible occasions.

Kane, despite his desire to play, is said to have respected the manager's decision and reasoning for it. It looked like Colombia had 30,000-40,000 fans in the stadium. A collection of sides sufficiently intimidating that in the first half, Roberto Martinez seemed not to want to win, his team counter-attacking with all the speed of a 1967 Volga negotiating the foothills of the Urals.

"He was excellent on that, showed real leadership and understanding of the big picture".

Southgate also issued a motivational dressing room rallying cry to his players in the aftermath of England's defeat to Belgium. "They pose you different technical and tactical challenges as we had (against Belgium)".

Alli started in the opening game against Tunisia, during which he picked up the injury.

"I don't think mentally we lose anything because they know we've made changes and they know Belgium weren't their full team as well".

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England finished second in Group G after the loss in Kaliningrad and will now face Colombia in the last-16.

Southgate will, of course, insist that he was not thinking about who England might meet in the last eight.

Pekerman's side were largely second best for much of their match against Senegal and had to play 60 minutes without talisman James Rodriguez, who was substituted in the first half with an injury. Momentum shifts in games and I think we kept pressing right to the end. "It would not be hard to see England drawing and that game going to penalties".

"Don't give Colombia chances because they have players like Juan Cuadrado that can beat players one-on-one". The knockout game is the biggest game for a decade, so we had to make sure our key players were preserved.

"There is something about tournament strategy that's important but you have to be bold enough to accept that might come with questions", he said.

Inspector Steve Love said his staff's safety was a priority, "If there's too many of them, we'll just stand back".

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