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England: Declan Rice hurt by Iceland defeat

Declan Rice spoke to the media after England's 1-0 loss to Iceland ahead of Euro 2024.

Declan Rice of England

England midfielder Declan Rice says he and his team-mates are hurt by the loss inflicted upon them by Iceland ahead of Euro 2024 in Germany.

The Three Lions were hoping to sign off in style at Wembley but were undone by a single goal in what can simply be described as an embarrassing defeat for Gareth Southgate’s side.

Rice played most of the match and did not put in a bad performance, but he has stepped up to take responsibility having finished with the captains armband.

Speaking to Channel 4, he said: “When we have that much of the ball, we have a couple of clear-cut chances and get beat 1-0 at home just before a Euros is not ideal.

“But there were a lot of positive performances.

“In the end it becomes a frustration game, you’re chasing your tail a little bit and get caught on the counter-attack.

“It’s not ideal we lost but there’s a lot of learning curves you can build on as a team.

“There’s no doubt about our quality on the ball as a collective. Maybe against the teams that sit in it’s about being a bit mentally switched on.

“I felt at times we were a little stretched, not as compact as we usually are. Inside I’m hurting and between now and the next game there’s work to be done.”

Rice partnered Kobbie Mainoo in midfield in what could be Southgate’s preferred line-up in Germany.

The pair played together in the March internationals and the Arsenal talisman is looking forward to strengthening his relationship with the Manchester United man this summer.

He added: “We did it in March and it was really positive. I can imagine because we’ve lost some people are saying stuff but that’s football these days.

“We’re going to learn every game we play. Every game is a chance to learn and get better.”

England open the Euro 2024 campaign against Serbia next Sunday as they look to go one better than their final appearance three years ago.

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Mitch Fretton

Mitch is a freelance sports journalist with experience working for LiveScore, GOAL and Colchester United. He has experience working from both his desk at home and in the press box at games covering the Champions League and international football.