England midfielder Kalvin Phillips has admitted the Three Lions need to loosen up and ‘take a few more risks’ on the ball as they come up against better opposition in the knockout stages of Euro 2020.
England made it through to the round of 16 as Group D winners, but were fairly disappointing and largely uninspiring going forward, scoring just twice in the three games against Croatia, Scotland and Czech Republic.
But as the quality of their opposition increases, starting with Tuesday’s massive round of 16 clash with Germany, Phillips has claimed that everyone in the team needs to be more willing to take risks in possession.
Asked what England need to do to improve, the Leeds man told Sky Sports: “Be more confident when we’re on the ball maybe, take a few more risks – me personally as well.
“I’m new to the team so I don’t really want to be risking the ball too much and losing a little bit of confidence. But at the same time, I’m in a major tournament so I’ve got to show what I can do and hopefully I can do that in the next game.
“You kind of feel like you don’t want to lose the ball in case anything happens. It’s in everybody’s head – nobody wants to lose the ball and Germany go up the pitch and score. So it’s just about being courageous on the pitch and being confident in yourself and being positive as well.”
The midfielder was included in Gareth Southgate’s final 26-man squad for the European Championship following a very impressive debut campaign in the Premier League. The 25-year old is the only outfield player in the England squad to have featured in every minute of their Euro 2020 campaign so far.
He notably turned in one of the performances of the tournament in England’s opener against Croatia, putting in a tireless display as well as assisting Raheem Sterling’s winner.