Jesse Lingard labelled Gareth Southgate’s appointment as a “revolution” for England ahead of their crucial World Cup last-16 tie with Colombia on Tuesday.
A victory would see the Three Lions progress to the quarter finals for the first time since 2006 and set up a potential showdown with either Switzerland or Sweden.
Southgate’s inventive approach as England manager has seen him implement a new 3-5-2 formation. The squad looks rejuvenated under Southgate, with the fresh approach bringing out the best in players such as Harry Kane, Jordan Henderson and Kyle Walker – who has adapted to a new position as a central defender.
And Lingard has praised the fresh approach and the impact that Southgate has had on England’s young players.
“It feels like a new revolution. The manager’s come in with great ideas, the formation suits as perfectly as a group of lads,” Lingard said (via Sky Sports).
“It’s a youthful squad but we’ve still got those experienced players in there. The team spirit is amazing – everyone has come together and is really bonding.”
England have a fantastic opportunity to reach the latter stages of the competition having seen tournament favourites such as Germany, Spain and Portugal exit the competition. England also find themselves on the favourable side of the draw after their 1-0 loss to Belgium.
And with two penalty shootouts being contested in yesterdays last-16 ties, Lingard said that the players have been practicing penalties in training.
“Of course, we are practising them at training and what not. There is not really a set five yet, but everyone is confidence enough to go over and take one.
“We don’t need to change too much. No matter what round we are in we are going to play with no fear and play with that freedom. Why change?”