Gareth Southgate: ‘We hope to give our fans more brilliant nights at EURO 2024’
Gareth Southgate reacts to England's UEFA EURO 2024 draw
The Three Lions head coach stressed ‘games are not played on paper’ after seeing his side placed alongside Denmark, Slovenia and Serbia and spoke of the threat posed by their Group C opponents.
Speaking immediately after the ceremony in Hamburg, Southgate said: “I have stood here after quite a few draws and you always feel the same way. You can look at it on paper but the games are not played on paper.
“There are one or two teams you are glad to avoid, certainly in pot 3 and pot 4, but all of the teams we are playing are more than capable.”
He continued: “I was really relaxed about all of it. I guess the advantage we have is that because we have been in a few tournaments, we know the format and you know the next objective is to get out of the group and you try to build from there.”
England kick off their EURO 2024 campaign against Serbia at the 50,000-capacity Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen before taking on Denmark in a repeat of the EURO 2020 semi-final on Thursday 20 June at the similarly sized Frankfurt Arena.
The Three Lions will then conclude their group at Cologne Stadium on Tuesday 25 June against Slovenia.
Southgate highlighted the threat posed by former Fulham star Aleksandr Mitrovic as an example of how you have to be ‘very careful’ when analysing draws.
And on their final Group C opponents, he said: “Slovenia was one of the first games I had as England manager and I always remember that Joe Hart made a save that day and if he hadn’t, then I might not still be England manager. You do think back to those moments.”
England look likely to travel less than 300 miles between their three Group C stadiums and Southgate was asked where the team would be basing themselves immediately after the draw.
He said: “We are now able to work it all out. That is the beauty of these draws. We now have clear opportunities to study the opposition, we can look at the timing of arriving in Germany because we have the date of our first game and we can now start to nail down where we are staying as well, so it just gives you a lot more clarity really. But I don’t have it to give you now, unfortunately.”
And when asked for his final thoughts, concluded: “We are hugely excited to be part of the tournament, we know the expectation at home, we have developed a lot as a team over the last few years and we are getting used to these big games, so we are ready for that expectation and we hope we can give our supporters some more brilliant nights, like we have over the last few tournaments.”
EURO 2024 draw in full