Euro 2012: England v France preview
- Mon 11 Jun 2012, 1:40PM
- Posted by Mark Booth
Anticipation is growing ahead of England’s opening game of Euro 2012, their Group D encounter with France where there will be up to five Manchester City players on the pitch.
We’ll be watching all of the action over at City Square – here’s what the major players had to say in the build-up to this Anglo-Franco clash.
Joe Hart: “We don't want to come here thinking, 'people won't mind if we lose'. We have high expectations, otherwise there's no point in being here. We have come to win it.”
Joleon Lescott: "We've been in squads before. I think it was the Spain squad when we were all in the squad together and we had two good results then and two good performances. We are all here for the same reason and that’s to do well for England.”
James Milner: "Our players are going to the tournament high on confidence. Winning is a habit and you want to get into those habits of winning trophies and get into that winning mentality.”
Roy Hodgson: “We've done the best preparation in my opinion that we can possibly do, I think you're ready, I think you're good enough, now have the confidence and the belief in yourself to get out there and show it and don't get suicidal if for some reason things don't work out for you.”
Steven Gerrard: “It's not the end of the world whichever way it goes. It is important we don't get carried away thinking we are going to win the tournament if we win and don't commit suicide if we lose because there will still be two games to recover.”
The French perspective
Gael Clichy: "Rooney's absence could be an advantage for us, but they have so much quality that it doesn’t really matter whether we play them at the start or at the end. Still, the first match of a tournament is crucial."
Samir Nasri: “I would like to see both sides qualify but people need to understand that if France qualify at the expense of England then so be it."
Laurent Blanc: "We need to be confident going into these finals. There are some sides who are better than France, but if we can get out of the group stage anything can happen. But we're no longer one of the top sides in European football, and I should remind you of that."
Kick-off is at 5pm and City Square opens at 2.30pm. Join us on Twitter for live updates or check back later for a full report on how our City players performed in Donetsk.