Thursday, 21 June, 2018

Marcus Rashford picks up 'knock' in England training

England head to Russia on Tuesday England head to Russia on Tuesday
Adrian Cunningham | 14 June, 2018, 13:34

Harry Kane insists that the World Cup remains the pinnacle of football, despite club competitions increasing in prominence.

England's squad and manager Gareth Southgate fly to Russian Federation on Tuesday to settle into their training base in Repino, just outside St Petersburg.

If England finish second in Group G, they will face the victor of Group H which, according to world rankings, should be POLAND, although Colombia, Senegal and Japan are other potential opponents at this stage.

The Euro 2016 humiliation at the hands of Iceland, when Roy Hodgson's team was eliminated by the tournament minnows at the second round stage in France, further dented the damaged relationship between the supporters and players.

Former England and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand also said recently that he cherishes his club successes and considers them more important to him than anything he did for England. "In the end, we want to entertain where we possibly can". My mates used to buy Real Madrid or Barcelona shirts when we were on holiday in Spain but I was always England.

But for me, I don't think it gets much bigger than the World Cup.

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Here, portraits of all 23 players on the 2018 World Cup squad.

England open their World Cup campaign in Volgograd against Tunisia on Monday June 18. Constantly trying to improve, playing in a style that we've used in the past year or so and that people have warmed to. Our focus as a team has to be on the bits we can control: constantly trying to improve, playing in a style that we've used in the previous year or so, and that people have warmed to.

"We hope we can send people to work the following day having enjoyed our matches", said Southgate before departing for Russian Federation.

"We hope we can send people to work the following day having enjoyed our matches, I know what those tournament experiences can be like and we desperately want to bring that", said Southgate, whose side have warmed up with wins over fellow finalists Nigeria and Costa Rica.

"I'm confident it won't happen (again) - I won't say 100 per cent because you never know in football - but in this team we wear our heart on our sleeve".