The two teams reconvene in Rijeka for Friday evening’s UEFA Nations League encounter 93 days after Gareth Southgate’s side suffered an extra-time defeat at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.
Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic and Sime Vrsaljko were among those critical of England’s pre-match rhetoric, with even the song Three Lions cited as giving Croatia an extra incentive.
At Croatia’s press conference last night, Modric explained how comments in the media “and some commentary we could read or watch” made them feel “a bit disrespected” ahead of the semi-final.
But Trippier said: “The players weren’t arrogant and I don’t think the fans were. They were singing Three Lions from the Tunisia game [England’s first] and it was one I enjoyed and the boys did as well.
“You see the quality of [Croatia’s] players, [Ivan] Rakitic, Perisic, as well as Modric — you could go through the whole team. These are players who you want to play against. It will be a very tough game but one we believe we can win. We believe in our ability.”
Southgate said of the situation: “Three Lions is English humour and, unless you are a fan of Fawlty Towers, maybe you wouldn’t get the slant on it. I think it is interesting how we are viewed by the rest of the world when we travel.
“I am always putting across the importance of representing the country in the right way. The rest of the world does view us in a certain way and feel that we have a sense of entitlement, but I can only speak for this group and that is not the way we operate.”
READ MORE: Alexander-Arnold: Gomez is a mini Van Dijk
READ MORE: Inter to offer new contract to United target Icardi
READ MORE: Perisic the danger man for England – The stats behind the winger
Whatever residual issues there were with England fans singing the song, they will be removed this evening, with the match played behind closed doors as a result the UEFA punishment handed down to Croatia after a swastika was marked on the pitch ahead of the Euro 2016 qualifier against Italy in 2015.
Around 200 England fans who had already paid for their trip were expected to make the journey regardless, with some hoping to find a vantage point near the stadium to watch the game.
Southgate lost Danny Rose and Alex McCarthy to injury yesterday but he is expected to name a strong side as both sides look to get back on track in the Nations League after losing to Spain. England were beaten 2-1 at Wembley, while Croatia suffered their worst-ever defeat with a 6-0 thrashing in Elche.
Harry Kane is set to lead the attack and Trippier believes his Spurs team-mate is back on track, telling beIN Sports: “When he doesn’t score, people question him, but his record speaks for itself.”
Credit: Source link