England are now a better team than when they reached the 2018 World Cup semi-finals, claims Harry Maguire – with the Manchester United defender insisting that the squad has ‘developed in a positive way’.
- England has a mixed record since reaching the semi-finals at the World Cup in Russia
- Since then they have lost to the Czech Republic and Denmark, among others
- But Harry Maguire has underlined that their tournament experience will help them
- England will face Albania and Poland in World Cup qualifiers next week
Defender Harry Maguire has insisted that England are in a better place than when they reached the 2018 World Cup semi-finals in Russia.
England performed well at the tournament, beating Colombia and Sweden in the knockout stages before taking the lead against Croatia in the semi-final, but lost 2-1 after extra time.
Since then they have had a mixed record, often comfortably beating European minnows, but losing to the Czech Republic, losing and drawing to Denmark and losing to Spain and Belgium.
England reached the semifinals of the 2018 World Cup, but were eliminated in the semifinals
Despite a mixed record since then, defender Harry Maguire has pushed for the team to improve
But Manchester United captain Maguire underscored the team’s improvement since the last World Cup.
He said on Sunday prior to England’s game against Albania: ‘In the three years we’ve developed, we’ve worked more tactically, the experience of the big tournament, the highs and lows.
‘We have to take that experience with us to the upcoming tournaments. I’m sure that will help us.
Manchester United defender Maguire spoke ahead of qualifiers against Albania and Poland
‘As a player and as a team, three years is of course a long time to develop and we have developed positively.’
Gareth Southgate’s side beat San Marino 5-0 on Thursday, but will face tougher opponents in the coming week and will have to miss out on striker Marcus Rashford and winger Bukayo Saka, both injured.
England will travel to Albania on Sunday before hosting Poland in the Group I qualifiers for the Winter 2022 World Cup in Qatar on Wednesday at Wembley.