Gareth Southgate calls England team meeting ahead of World Cup last 16

Tom Gott
Southgate is demanding 100%
Southgate is demanding 100% / Alex Pantling/GettyImages

Gareth Southgate called his England squad in for a team meeting ahead of the last 16 to remind the Three Lions not to drop their standards.

Focusing on the surprise eliminations handed to Belgium and Germany in the group stage, Southgate was quick to remind his players that one poor performance could send them home, regardless of their opposition.

Oh, and they also discussed how to deal with dirty socks. You know, the important stuff.

The Telegraph detail a meeting in which Southgate challenged his squad to stay at 100% from now until the end of the tournament, refusing to allow standards to slip as England approach do-or-die territory.

On the meeting, centre-back John Stones revealed: “We spoke briefly in our meeting this morning as a team about not letting any standards drop. It was the manager, Harry [Kane] and a few of the boys spoke up.

“Whether it might be putting your kit the right way for the kit men, putting out socks the right way for the kit men – we get on each other for things like that because we have created those standards. Those little things matter and those little things keep you on the right path.

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“So we spoke about what has happened and spoke about the big nations that have gone – that can’t be ourselves and that goes with all the little things that we have been doing, all the good traits we have as a team or players. We can’t let those slide and we have to make sure we stay focused on the job in hand.”

England will take on Senegal on Sunday for a place in the quarter-finals, where they would face the winner of France vs Poland.