Gareth SOUTHGATE – England – Final Draw Reaction
So what's your impression of the group?
I think it's really exciting.
We know Belgium really well most of
their players play in the English
Premier League so that is a game at home
that will really capture everybody's
imagination, probably the best group of
players they've ever had
Panama are a team we've never played so for
us it's really interesting to find out
more about the team. I've had information
about their quality from a coach in Mexico,
one who who I know pretty well, and then
Tunisia personally takes me back to 1998
because my first game at the World Cup,
in France, as a player was against them
so now to have the opportunity to lead
my country into that fixture is really a
proud moment for me.
Does it mean something to have avoided
the likes of Brazil, Germany, France,
big, big teams? Well, the quality of
the Belgian team and the manager
is very high, we know that from
our league so when you're the second
seed you have to accept you have to
play a top team and Belgium are that team
in our group. We played Brazil a
couple of weeks ago, I'm not disappointed
to miss them in the group, but the rest
of it in our last two tournaments, Costa
Rica knocked us out in Brazil
Iceland knocked us out of the European
Championship so we've got to make sure
that we're prepared for every game.
Do you think that after those results you mentioned
that's there's a more pressure on England
to do well in this World Cup?
With England there is always big pressure
like all of the big football countries,
so our supporters have high expectations.
With this team, it's a little bit different.
We're a young team that doesn't have
huge experience of tournament football
but we're a team with a lot of potential
and a team that we think will improve
in the next few years. Are you
satisfied with the result of the draw?
I think for us now we're excited because
we know where we're going to be, who we're
playing, when we play, so you can start to
plan the camps at the end of the season,
the warm-up matches beforehand and
everything starts to take shape. For
everybody involved in the draw today I
think this is a really exciting time now.