England boss Gareth Southgate has hailed his players after their stunning 2-1 Euro 2024 win over the Netherlands on Wednesday night – and also shed light on his decision to bring on Ollie Watkins.

Goals from Watkins and Harry Kane sent the Three Lions through, with the 28-year-old bagging the winner in the 90th minute to spark wild celebrations across the nation.


It was a huge night for England, who produced their best performance of the tournament so far to go through.

And Southgate was delighted at full time, with the 53-year-old explaining his decision to bring on Watkins by saying: “This has to be the best [achievement].

Euro 2024 England Gareth Southgate Ollie Watkins Netherlands

England boss Gareth Southgate has hailed his players after their stunning 2-1 Euro 2024 win over the Netherlands on Wednesday night.

PA

“It’s another landmark, but the way we played, we played so well throughout the game.

“It was a complicated game, they kept changing, we had to respond.

“We caused them problems all night and the end is so special for the squad.

“The most important thing is that the whole squad are ready to come into the game.

“We spend a lot of time with those guys [the substitutes], and I’m so chuffed for Ollie [Watkins].

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“It’s another landmark, but the way we played, we played so well throughout the game.

“It was a complicated game, they kept changing, we had to respond.

“We caused them problems all night and the end is so special for the squad.

“The most important thing is that the whole squad are ready to come into the game.

“We spend a lot of time with those guys [the substitutes], and I’m so chuffed for Ollie [Watkins].

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“We felt, energy wise, we were starting to lose some pressure [second half].

“Ollie can press well and make those runs in behind. We thought it was a good moment to try him.

“We deserved to win tonight. We were very fluid in our formation, it wasn’t just a back three, we had to adapt all the time and the players made so many good decisions.”

ITV pundit Roy Keane has hailed Southgate for the job he’s done as England manager.

They’re now through to their second final under the 53-year-old, having come close to winning Euro 2020 three years ago.

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Gareth Southgate has hailed Ollie Watkins after England beat the Netherlands to reach the final of Euro 2024

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And Keane has now challenged Southgate to bring the European Championships to England for the first time.

“He’s done a brilliant job since day one,” he said.

“He’s created an environment for players to go out and express themselves, there’s been a bit of luck but we all need that.

“He’s made some big decisions before this tournament, with Grealish and Rashford [being left out]… but he’s got to go and finish it now.

“His stats are fantastic and if he can get the trophy at the end, it’ll be amazing for him.”

England Harry Kane

England star Harry Kane scored a penalty in his side’s Euro 2024 win over the Netherlands on Wednesday night

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England will face Spain in the final of the tournament on Sunday.

The Three Lions last locked horns with La Roja back in 2018 and won 3-2, with Raheem Sterling bagging a brace either side of a goal from Marcus Rashford.