Neville slams 'absolutely disgusting' criticism of Man City star by England fans

11 Julio, 2018, 16:00 | Author: Thomas Hicks
  • Gareth Southgate

Everyone is talking about Raheem Sterling right now.

Some see the fact that he is yet to score in the tournament as a huge negative.

Sterling has found his performances being placed under the microscope arguably more than any other England player by certain publications.

England manager Gareth Southgate has launched a staunch defence of Raheem Sterling ahead of the World Cup semi-final against Croatia.

It follows messages of support from David Beckham and Gary Neville.

It is something which has been a key point of the manager's success so far and he is keen for his players to embrace the magnitude of a World Cup semi-final. Beckham and Sir Geoff Hurst, though, defended Sterling's displays after the quarter-final win against Sweden.

Sterling has yet to score in Russian Federation, but has made plenty of menacing runs in the opponents' half and brought others into play.

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"But he has become anxious about getting on the scoresheet".

Asked what it would mean to defeat England, Dalic said: "It's already a great achievement for us to be in the last four because some big teams are already swimming on their vacation - Argentina, Brazil, Germany and so on". Sterling is exactly the same: he might not be doing what the media or the fans believe he should be doing, but he is perfectly fulfilling the role that helps the team succeed, and therefore England are a better side with Raheem Sterling starting.

"They dealt with Sweden relatively easily so we know they are going to be a hard opponent and we respect them", he said.

Indeed. Croatia have players in their squad who England have to be wary of.

The flak Sterling receives doesn't bother him as much anymore, in his own words, the youngster focussing on his duties instead.

Just two goals in 42 appearances, which came against Lithuania and Estonia, isn't anything to call home about.

Croatia's shoot-out victory over Russian Federation was their second straight win on penalties at the World Cup, having beaten Denmark in the same fashion in the last-16, and Dalic admitted that playing 120 minutes twice in the last six days was not ideal, particularly as some of his players are now carrying injuries.

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