REPINO, Russia (Reuters) - There may be an air of euphoria back home but England midfielder Eric Dier is adamant that for all the progress, success has yet to be achieved for the Three Lions at the World Cup in Russia.
“I don’t think we have succeeded yet – success is hard to define but in my eyes and I think in everyone else’s eyes back at the (team) hotel I think this isn’t a success yet,” Dier told reporters on Monday after the team’s training session.
England face Croatia on Wednesday in the semi-final with a chance to face France or Belgium in Sunday’s final in Moscow on the line.
The players have seen the videos of fans wildly celebrating their quarter-final victory over Sweden and are aware of the mood in England but Dier says their eyes are fixed on their next task.
“We are hungry for more and we want more and hopefully we can show that on Wednesday. After the Sweden game we fixed our attention purely to Wednesday. We are as focused as ever on that game, there has been no complacency, no talk of anything else other than Wednesday.
“We have kept things the same throughout the whole tournament, keep going in the same way and we will do also leading up to Wednesday,” he said.
Dier is likely to start on the bench with manager Gareth Southgate preferring Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson in the defensive midfield slot but he could well feature at some stage against a Croatia side whose strength is in central midfield.
But the Tottenham Hotspur player, who grew up in Portugal and answered questions from Brazilian media in fluent Portuguese, says that a great part of the team spirit has been the commitment and approach of all players, regardless of their place on the team sheet.
“100 percent I think you can see that in the way that we play, everybody the whole 23, willing to put everything aside, whatever their personal interests might be, purely for the team to be successful,” he said.
“I think you can see that in the way that we play, the way that we fight for each other. The way we train during the week is fantastic, always with high-intensity, everyone pushing each other. It is a fantastic attitude and mentality. We are just trying to be in the best possible place on Wednesday.”
Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Christian Radnedge