'Not getting the credit we deserve' – Declan Rice lauds 'faultless' England as he says 'countries should fear us' | The Sun

DECLAN RICE reckons this England side is better than the one that lost the Euros final on penalties.

And he says the team has already identified weaknesses in France that they will exploit in their mouthwatering quarter-final on Saturday.

Rice helped the Three Lions steamroller Senegal 3-0 in the last 16 on Sunday night.

The goals came through Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka, while 19-year-old sensation Jude Bellingham ran the game.

It gave great hope that Gareth Southgate’s men might be able to go one better than they did in the Euros and win the World Cup.

Though reigning champions Les Bleus will be a major obstacle at the weekend, especially with tournament top-scorer Kylian Mbappe in such devastating form.

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Rice played in that heartbreaking defeat to Italy on penalties in the Euros final, as did most of the current team.

But the West Ham man feels the side has improved even further since that agony.

Asked if the current team is better than the one that suffered that Wembley misery, the 23-year-old replied: “Yeah. 

“We’ve been pushing so well as a team. We’re really together now on the pitch and off the pitch. 

“As a team we really complement each other really well. The boys I’m playing with in midfield, we really complement each other.

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“The boys up front, he can bring in an attacker and nothing will change.

“And the back four has been absolutely solid. We’re building a really nice foundation but it’s down to us now.

“There’s no point buzzing about beating Senegal if we can’t push on and beat France.”

Rice has been irked by some of the flak England have received of late.

Whether it be during the six-game winless run the team endured before the World Cup began – in which they failed to score in four of those games.

Or in the tournament itself, particularly for the bore draw against the USA in the second group game.

He explained: “I’ve said it all along, I don’t think we get the credit we deserve in our performances. 

“I think if you look at other teams, like Holland and Argentina, they win their games comfortably and they get called masterclasses.

“With us, it always gets picked off. The negative things always come that way.

“If you look at the last couple of games, it’s been faultless.

“I think countries, like I said the other day, should be starting to fear us now because we’re a great team.”

England are now tournament leading scorers with 12 goals – coming from EIGHT different players.


They have conceded just two – only one from open play – and have three consecutive clean sheets, making this their best defensive performance at a World Cup since 1982.

Rice continued: “We’re silencing the critics. 

"Going into the tournament, there was a lot of talk that we don’t score enough goals. That’s another one we’ve kept people quiet on.

“There was a lot of scrutiny around the defence and conceding goals, but it’s been solid.

“We’re going to keep building and pushing.

“Against the big teams, there has always been a lot of talk on us using the ball.

“I think in this tournament we’ve pretty much controlled every game.

“We’ve had a fair share of possession, we’ve moved it really well. 

“The opening stages have been really shaky because teams are really trying to stop us playing.

“But once we get that goal, they have to change. It opens up and then you really start to see us play.

“Against France, we’ve seen some weaknesses in them that we can try to exploit. It’s set up for a great game

“These are the games we want to play in. They only come round once: England vs France, quarter-final, it doesn’t get bigger than that.

“We’ve got six days to prepare now and I’m sure the world will be watching. We really want to progress.”

The England team were shocked by the news that Raheem Sterling’s house had been broken into by armed burglars, forcing the Chelsea star to fly home to be with his family.

It remains to be seen whether the 81-cap forward will return to Qatar or not.

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Speaking after the game, a concerned Rice commented: “ I’ve literally seen him at breakfast this morning (SUN) and then the manager said in the teamtalk before he’s obviously had a difficult time with his family at home. 

“We all sent him a message but we’re waiting to hear more.”

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