Published 06 July 2021 2 min read
England Men's Senior TEAM

Stones on the pod

Written by:

Tom Dean

With John Stones' help, clean sheets have become England's bread and butter 
England’s ever-present John Stones joined the Official England Podcast to look ahead to Denmark and share his delight in keeping five consecutive clean sheets. 

The only defender to have started in all five matches so far, Stones has been one of the cornerstones of Gareth Southgate’s team at UEFA EURO 2020. 

And the Manchester City man believes the clean sheets have helped inspire players further up the field too.

“We’ve slowly learned each other’s culture and understood each other’s games so when we get them [clean sheets] we celebrate them like they’re a goal,” said Stones on the Official England Podcast. 

“Those are little wins for us and the team and it also creates a great energy on the pitch. They can set the tone and get us fired up as defenders. 

“It shows the pride we take in doing our jobs and we want to keep the run going because it creates a snowball effect and creates the platform for the boys going forward to do their things. 

“On a personal level, I’m so proud but I’m also so proud of the boys around me." 

Much to Stones’ delight, Harry Maguire has returned to the side to partner him in defence, having missed the first two games with injury. 

“I’m so pleased for him because he’s trained really hard and is doing everything to get back as quickly as possible. It’s great to see him back enjoying his football. 

“I know he’s so happy to be keeping clean sheets too and obviously he got his goal the other night - we’ve worked on the set-pieces so it all came together in one night for him.”
 

06 Jul 2021

England depart for Wembley


England board the bus to Wembley ahead of Wednesday night's clash with Denmark

One more clean sheet would give England the perfect platform to secure their place in a first-ever European Championships final having made it to the World Cup semis three years ago. 

“This is huge,” added Stones. “The fact that it’s at Wembley means it is a huge occasion. 

“I’ve got to give them a lot of respect after what happened to Christian Eriksen and they showed a lot of courage and are in the semi-finals for a reason so we know what we’re up against. 

“I played in the World Cup semi-final which was heartbreaking but a massive lesson so I feel we’ve learnt a lot from those experiences and hopefully we can get the job done on Wednesday.”