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World Cup 2018: Great Expectations!

IT TAKES TWO: England head coach Southgate with Ashley Young after victory against Sweden

ENGLAND’S SENSATIONAL World Cup campaign should come as no surprise.

The Voice got the ultimate heads up in March during an exclusive interview with The Football’s Association chief executive Martin Glenn.

The Three Lions reached the semi-finals of the global football showcase with a comfortable 2-0 quarter-final win against Sweden.

Only Croatia stood in the way of England’s first World Cup final since the heady days of 1966 when they won the tournament on home soil.

Whether they land World Cup or not, Gareth Southgate’s team have united the country as they progressed through the rounds.

Glenn and Southgate were well aware of England’s potential months ago.

Glenn said: “We’ve been variously accused of trying to manage expectations down. We are ranked 14th in the world and have given Gareth Southgate a long term contract because we’ve said that he has to bet on youth.

“We don’t actually have that many English players playing in the Premier League so you need someone like Gareth who knows the talent coming through.

“He has the freedom to bet on youth. We will have a better tournament than we have had in the past but we might not win it because of that lack of experience.

“We have a cohort of youngsters who have good international experience at a young age and that counts for something.

“We are a team in transition. We are doing a lot of work in preparing the players from a psychological perspective.

“We want them to make the nation proud, so get out of the group stages and see where we go from there. Gareth’s going out there to win!”

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