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England are ‘building’, says Eze

The Crystal Palace midfielder also stuck up for under-fire captain Harry Kane

Gareth Southgate

England midfielder Eberechi Eze says the team remain in a “building” phase after two disappointing performances at Euro 2024.

Gareth Southgate’s men opened their campaign with an underwhelming 1-0 defeat of Serbia on Sunday night before a listless display in drawing 1-1 with Denmark yesterday.

England still top Group C but the nature of the performance against the Danes, in particular, has led to widespread criticism of Southgate and his players.

But Eze, who came on as a second-half substitute in Frankfurt, is refusing to panic.

He told the Independent: “I’d say we’re staying calm, we know the potential we’ve got.

“We’re building, we’re getting towards the level that we know we can play at. Ultimately, we’ll stay calm, we’ve got four points and there’s more to improve. No stress, we’re not panicking.

“Tournament football is a rollercoaster. This is my first one but that’s what they [his team-mates] are all saying. As long as you stay calm and positive, you’ll be fine.

“Of course, we wanted to get three points, we want to put in performances that we know we’re capable of but this is what happened at the last tournament and no one remembers it when you reach the latter stages.”

England captain Harry Kane was singled out for criticism after a lethargic display in which his willingness to press the opposing defenders was noticeable by its absence.

Unsurprisingly, Eze was quick to defend the Three Lions’ record goalscorer, who netted the opener before being substituted in favour of Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins.

He added: “H is an incredible player, always does his job for the team.

“You guys probably look too much into that kind of stuff but a player like him, you don’t really need to question him.

“You know he’s going to work for the team, he’s going to put in performances and score goals. That’s the type of player he is.”

Picture of Jon Fisher

Jon Fisher

Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.