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Euro 2024: ‘England players know we have another gear’ – Walker

England vice-captain insists Southgate's instructions are not to sit back after scoring

Gareth Southgate

Kyle Walker put England’s lacklustre draw again Denmark down to ‘tournament football,’ but says the squad know they have an extra gear to find.

Walker’s industry laid on Harry Kane’s 18th minute opener in Frankfurt but Denmark hit back before the break and ended up pressing for a winner in the Group C clash.

The final whistle saw England remain top of the group with four points, though they missed the chance to qualify for the Round of 16 after Slovenia’s draw with Serbia earlier today.

Walker told BBC Sport: “It’s tournament football. This is a good Denmark team. We’re top of the group, let’s try to take the positives from this game, we’ve not lost, we’ve conceded a great strike from outside the box.

“We’ve not managed to see the game out but we are top of the group, let’s move on to the next game (against Slovenia on Tuesday).”

England fans and pundits were frustrated with England’s showing, in particular dropping deeper after going ahead, much as they did in Sunday’s 1-0 win over Serbia.

Walker insisted Southgate had not instructed the players to sit back after going ahead, adding: “The manager has expressed that he wants us to play free, attacking football. Sometimes in tournament football you have to manage the game.

“That’s why it’s so hard to win tournaments. Like the champions league it’s not a walk through, you don’t turn up and take three points when you come to grounds and hostile environments.

“We know we can do better but we are top of the group, let’s move on. The players will know as individually and collectively we have got another gear, but we haven’t lost the game.

“Everyone wants us to come and steamroller teams 3-0 or 4-0 but that’s not football these days. We’ve got a point, we’ll move on, we’re top, we’ll keep going like that.”

Picture of Alex Hoad

Alex Hoad

Alex has more than 15 years' experience in sports journalism and has reported on multiple Olympics, World Cups and European Championships in additional to Champions League, Europa League and domestic football.