Marcus Rashford has told England to keep calm and carry on ahead of next week’s epic clash with Germany at Wembley.
Rashford wasn’t even born when current boss Gareth Southgate was part of the Three Lions side that lost to the Germans in the semi finals of Euro 96 on home soil.
Southgate blew the crucial spot kick that went on to define his playing career – and made him the star of a Pizza Hut advert that mocked his miss.
Now the nation has gone into overdrive again as England get set to welcome the Germans back to Wembley in the last 16 and get the chance of revenge.
But Rashford admits all the outside noise will not make it into the inner sanctum of England’s training base at St George’s Park.
The Manchester United star reckons Southgate’s men will block it all out and not let the distractions ruin their focus on the challenge ahead.
Rashford said: “That’s outside. I’m not really a person that’s on social media or even hears those types of opinions.
“I’m just focusing on what’s in camp, what we work on every day, the way we’ve improved over the years and the way, hopefully, we are going to keep on going in that direction and keep improving.
Will England beat Germany at Euro 2020? Let us know your score predictions in the comments section
“It’s quite simple really. We just concentrate on us as a team and the best thing that anyone can do is give the best version of themselves individually and collectively. That’s our main focus going into the game.”
Rashford and his team-mates watched the drama unfold on Tuesday night as the Germans scored a late equaliser against Hungary to finish second in Group F – and book a trip to the ‘Home of Football’.
But in the space of an hour England could have also ended up facing Portugal, France or even the Hungarians and Rashford admits it was a rollercoaster ride.
He said: “We were all watching the games together. We were watching the Portugal game and then some lads were watching the Germany game as well.
“It was a little bit crazy. People just shouting over who scored and all that. It’s nice. It was a moment for the team to sit down and relax, because when the games are on you are training hard every day and you very rarely get time to come away from it and just be normal people. It was an opportunity for us to do that.”
Rashford’s first memories of England clashes with Germany growing up were when Frank Lampard scored the ‘ghost goal’ against them at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
The 23-year-old knows Joachim Low’s side remain a strong one, but reckons England now have more belief they can go toe-to-toe with the best and come out on top.
He added: “For us, Germany are a top, top team and have shown that for years, but we can make play against them, we can give them a good game.
“Definitely over the last two years we’ve improved massively against the bigger teams, we’ve been getting better results. Whereas, before that, we were sometimes playing alright, but most of the game they were dominating, it was difficult for us to get goalscoring opportunities, and the game would usually be one or two-nil to them, but they’d be in control of the game.
“That was one of the things Gareth wanted to change. We wanted to start pushing ourselves and trying to beat these big nations, and gradually we started to do it a few more times, sometimes drawing, but games where it’s very fine margins, and losing a lot less.
“We’ve definitely progressed in those terms, but like I said, I’m just looking forward to the next game, and we take it one game at a time, and we give our all in this game against Germany.”