MX23RW : Wednesday, October 17 07:06:59

Stones urges England to ‘put things right’ against Croatia

Stones urges England to ‘put things right’ against Croatia
© Reuters
The Three Lions were denied a place in this summer’s World Cup final by the Croatians.

John Stones hopes to move on from his World Cup frustration and “put things right” when England take on Croatia in the Nations League.

The Three Lions’ third run to the last four of a World Cup came to a heartbreaking end in July as Zlatko Dalic’s side came from behind to secure a 2-1 extra-time win in Moscow.

Mario Mandzukic ran behind Stones to slam home the winner – a moment the Manchester City defender is sure to have replayed in his head hundreds of times since then.

The 24-year-old refrained from talking about revenge on the eve of the game, but the defender spoke of improving aspects of the display when they step out at the empty Stadion HNK Rijeka.

“I think however we want to put it, we’ve got to play them no matter what,” Stones said of the Group A4 match, which will be played behind closed doors as Croatia complete a UEFA stadium ban for having a swastika on their pitch.

“I don’t want to say anything about the World Cup. I think we’ve got a new game, a new challenge in front of us.

“Obviously it will be a different environment for me personally and a lot of the lads without having any fans here, but that’s something that we can’t control and it’s down to what happened here in the past.

“So, it’s a great experience for us all and hopefully we can put things right maybe that happened in the World Cup.

“We want to come here and show a good account of ourselves, show that we can hopefully beat Croatia and keep fighting in this Nations League.”

England lost their first ever Nations League match 2-1 against Spain, who then securing an eye-catching 6-0 win against Croatia days later.

Southgate’s side would be wise to expect a response from the World Cup runners-up on a night that could see some new faces get a run out.

Jadon Sancho, James Maddison, Mason Mount and Lewis Dunk are in the senior squad for the first time, but the quartet have seamlessly slotted in.

“They’ve hit the ground running,” Stones told BBC Radio 5 Live. “I wish I could have done it how they have coming into their first camp.

“I was a lot more nervous than they were.

“They’ve expressed themselves and I think that’s a great environment that we’ve set, a welcoming environment.

“We want players to feel comfortable and try and get the best out of them.

“They’ve got in the squad because of the ability that they’ve shown in the games and what they have, so it’s an exciting time for English football with all the young talent that’s coming through.

“It’s something that we should, as a nation, be proud of and grasp.

“We should keep encouraging these young players to keep improving and keep striving to play more regular football, which then will get them into what they want and hopefully get them in more England squads, more experience and better things for them as players.”

Share this article now:

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City86202131820
2Chelsea86201851320
3Liverpool86201531220
4Arsenal86021910918
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs8602157818
6Bournemouth85121612416
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves843196315
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd84131314-113
9Watford84131112-113
10Leicester CityLeicester84041412212
11Everton83321312112
12Burnley82241012-28
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton8224913-48
14Crystal Palace821559-47
15West Ham UnitedWest Ham8215813-57
16Southampton8125614-85
17Fulham8125921-125
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield8035417-133
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle8026613-72
20Cardiff CityCardiff8026417-132

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account