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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
John Cross

Inside England camp's clear-the-air meeting ahead of European Championship qualifiers

Ben Chilwell revealed England had a players’ meeting to put the World Cup behind them - and focus on winning the Euros.

Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate got the squad together at St George’s Park on Tuesday morning to discuss the fall-out from Qatar but also learn valuable lessons for the future.

England begin their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign in Italy on Thursday night which is arguably the toughest game in the Group which is followed by Ukraine at Wembley.

Chelsea full back Chilwell insists they will have to hit the ground running and believes they are all determined to turn the disappointment into succeeding next year.

Chilwell, who was forced to sit out Qatar because of injury, said: “To be honest, it was more talking about how it was to be there, and then literally we moved onto what the objective is now, which is to win a major trophy.

“We have got so close to doing that, but the next step now, which everyone wants, is to win one of these trophies. That’s where we’re at and that’s what we’re focused on.

“We do have to start well. They are two very difficult games, but also two games that we believe we can win.

“We have had a brilliant few days of training - everyone is totally dialled in and focused. It’s looking positive because we’re all in a positive headspace and in a good place physically for that game against Italy.”

Chilwell also revealed players’ families will talk amongst each other about the trip to Naples which has become a football hooligan hotspot because of Napoli’s notorious ultras fans.

There were frightening scenes of crowd violence last week when Napoli played Eintracht Frankfurt while the travelling 2,500 England fans have also had extra security advice.

Chilwell added: “I have friends and family going out there. The main thing is making sure that my friends, family and supporters and whoever is going out there feels safe.

"Of course, it is important that Italian fans also feel safe. That’s the main thing we have to take from this is that everyone ultimately feels safe.

“We work together on that. I wasn’t at the World Cup, but I know the families worked on that and got a lot closer and shared hotels and things like that. Of course, that’s the sort of conversation that I think we’ll have over the next few days.”

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