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‘England are ready to fight France’

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Gareth Southgate has insisted that his England players are ‘ready to fight France’ in their World Cup quarter-final on Saturday.

The Three Lions are looking to make successive semi-finals of the tournament for the first time in their history.

England’s runs to the last four of the 2018 World Cup and then the final of Euro 2020 have seen them gain valuable tournament experience, and Southgate hailed this achievement ahead of their meeting with France.

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“In terms of our experiences, I think those big matches for the team are important reference points,” he said.

“They’ve had to come through many different ways of winning games, some defeats that have hurt but that we’ve learned a lot from and I think they prepare you for nights like tomorrow where you have got to produce the very best version of yourselves.

“The mentality is key really. The belief that we deserve to be there and we are ready to fight France for that place in the semi-final.”

Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders, Sean Walsh, Ali Rampling and Brian Goldfarb to look back on the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil – join us!

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If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!

In an interview with The Times, Southgate admitted that he’s done his fair share of learning from these ultimately fruitless runs.

“Well, I’d be an idiot if I hadn’t learnt over five years managing some of the biggest games in world football, managing some of the most high-profile players in Europe,” Southgate said.

“Going through the experience of having one of the most high-profile jobs in the country you learn quite a lot. You constantly improve as a coach. Another four-five years down the line I’ll be a better coach than I am now.

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“We’ve constantly tried to evolve. I know people think I have a preference for a certain system, but if anything my preference has always been 4-3-3, but I don’t think it’s always been appropriate for us to play and get the best out of the team. The job is not just to have a philosophy, the job is to win matches. And you can have a philosophy but if you’re going home at the start of the tournament then the philosophy doesn’t wash, really. With the national team you’ve got to keep winning.

“I’m always going to be judged on the next game. If we don’t win, I know where the buck will stop. But that’s fine, I’m the manager, I have to take responsibility. I feel good about where I am on my decision-making and my energy and my excitement for the game.”



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Keylor Navas joins Nottingham Forest on loan

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Nottingham Forest have confirmed the loan signing of Keylor Navas from Paris Saint-Germain until the end of the season.

The Costa Rican comes to the City Ground with a wealth of top level experience having won three UEFA Champions League titles during a lengthy tenure at Real Madrid, before enjoying a stint as PSG’s number one goalkeeper – winning two Ligue 1 titles in that time.

This season however, Navas has been fully usurped by Gianluigi Donnarumma in the PSG goal, meaning that he’s now had to go out on loan to find gametime elsewhere.

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A club statement on the signing reads:

“Nottingham Forest is delighted to announce the signing of Keylor Navas from Paris Saint-Germain.

“The goalkeeper has signed on loan for the remainder of the 2022/23 campaign.

“Navas, 36, brings a wealth of international and domestic experience to the Club, having made 564 appearances in a trophy-laden career.”

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Nottingham Forest confirm signing of Jonjo Shelvey from Newcastle

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Nottingham Forest have completed the signing of midfielder Jonjo Shelvey from Newcastle United.

Shelvey joins on a permanent deal, signing a two-and-a-half-year contract at the City Ground.

“It’s a pleasure to be here. As soon as I found out Forest were interested, it caught my eye straight away and I just couldn’t wait to get down here,” said Shelvey, who will wear the number 6 shirt for Forest.

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“It’s a fantastic football club that has so much history and I’m really looking forward to getting started.

“My main goal straight away is to fight for my place in the team and stay there. It’s not going to be easy because there’s a lot of competition for places, but it’s a challenge I’m really looking forward to and the competitiveness can only help the team going forward.

“I spoke to Eddie Howe and he had such good words to say about Steve Cooper. I previously knew of him from my time at Liverpool, so I knew what a fantastic coach he was, but meeting him for the first time has been a breath of fresh air.

“He’s told me what he expects and the high standards he sets, so I can hope I can come and help the team push to stay in the Premier League. I’ve been in this league a long time, I know what it takes to stay up and what it takes to get a good team to gel, so I’m looking forward to getting started and working with the players that are here.”

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Forest are also hoping to finalise the signing of Keylor Navas from Paris Saint-Germain later on Deadline Day.



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Tottenham confirm loan signing of Pedro Porro

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Tottenham Hotspur have confirmed the signing of wing-back Pedro Porro from Sporting CP on loan.

The Lilywhites had been trying to push through a deal to sign Porro for the past number of weeks and finally struck a deal late in the January transfer window, signing the player on loan with a €48m obligation to buy – Porro’s release clause.

Speaking on Monday following the news that a deal had been struck, Porro said: “I’m grateful to Sporting, I love the club.

“I didn’t train as I was only focused on the transfer to Spurs but I will always be thankful to the club.”

With Porro coming into Antonio Conte’s squad, there have been some outgoings at right wing-back too with Matt Doherty agreeing to join Atletico Madrid, and Djed Spence leaving on loan too. In sealing the move, Doherty becomes the first Irish footballer to ever play for one of Spain’s three biggest clubs.

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