England v Germany: This isn't about banishing the ghosts of Euro 96 insists Gareth Southgate

England boss Gareth Southgate says today's European Championships clash with German is not about exorcising the demons of his penalty miss at Euro 96.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 8:00 am

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Having topped Group D unbeaten and without conceding, the Three Lions will have to go up a gear when they return to Wembley for the eagerly-anticipated Euro 2020 last-16 encounter at 5pm.

More than 40,000 will be under the arch for England s biggest match on home soil since Euro 96, when Southgate's saved penalty proved costly in the heartbreaking semi-final shootout loss to Germany.

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England boss Gareth Southgate (right) with assistant Steve Holland (left) and captain Harry Kane in training at St George's Park on Monday

But the Three Lions boss does not see Tuesday as a chance to ease that heartache, rather an opportunity for his players to add an exciting new chapter to their story.

"This team, I've said for a long time, have had so many unique achievements and my focus is on this team and helping them to succeed," Southgate said in conversation with BBC Radio 5 Live and talkSPORT.

"What's happened for me as a player is totally irrelevant in terms of tomorrow's game, so of course I'm always motivated to want to win.

"It's an opportunity to get to the quarter-final of a European Championship and it's the sort of big game that we want to come out on the top side on.

"But anything other than that, it would be wrong for me to be even speaking about.

"This is about our players. This is their moment and it's their opportunity."

Asked if perhaps his Euro 96 nightmare might give his players extra motivation to win it for him, Southgate said with a laugh: "Good grief, no. I don't think we'll be relying on that!

"I've just said to them this week, 'Look, the montages have been up on half-time during matches - forget it, it's irrelevant for you. It's of no importance to you what's happened'.

"This is about them. This is about them having a chance to achieve something, and certainly not for me to take any shine off of that.

"I want to get to a quarter-final just as much as anybody else does, so motivation is high, of course, but for the players they'll have their individual motivations and the collective.

"They've got a very strong bond and they want to do it for each other."

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