Rice says Euro 2024 hopefuls England have 'work to do' after Iceland defeat

AFP , Saturday 8 Jun 2024

Declan Rice says "there is work to be done" if England are to go far at Euro 2024 after a shock defeat to lowly Iceland in their final game before the tournament starts.

Declan Rice
England s midfielder #04 Declan Rice reacts to their defeat on the pitch after the International friendly football match between England and Iceland at Wembley Stadium in London on June 7, 2024. Iceland won the game 1-0. AFP

 

What was supposed to be a relatively straightforward friendly instead ended in an alarming 1-0 loss to a nation ranked 72nd in the world, who will not be in Germany.

Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson gave Iceland a shock early lead at Wembley and Gareth Southgate's lacklustre England could not find a response.

Swathes of supporters left before full-time, with some of those still at the stadium jeering the home team at the final whistle.

England's campaign kicks off against Group C rivals Serbia next Sunday and Rice knows improvements are required for the Euro 2020 runners-up, who have not won a major trophy since the 1966 World Cup.

"There's work to be done," said the Arsenal midfielder, 25.

"When you have that much of the ball, have a couple of clear-cut chances, and get beaten 1-0 at home just before the Euros it isn't ideal."

Despite the unexpected setback, Rice believes England can still take some positives from their display.

"There were a lot of promising performances, we played with a good tempo, always tried to play forward. We have to be a little bit more savvy," he told englandfootball.com.

"It's not ideal we lost but there are good learning curves we can build on as a team."

Anthony Gordon, who played on the left side of England's attack, said fans should not be concerned despite the disappointing result.

"Good players make it click, good players make it happen," he told the BBC. "We need time to train together and in a tournament that will happen.

"We're always going to work. We're always going to prepare as much as we can.

"I think we've got enough players, enough camaraderie around the group, we are very together. I think that helps in tournaments."

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