England: Neville wants ‘dramatic changes’ from Southgate after ‘very, very lucky’ Slovakia win

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Gary Neville before a Premier League match at Craven Cottage
Gary Neville reckons it's 'written in the stars' for England.

Gary Neville wants to see dramatic changes from Gareth Southgate after England got “very, very lucky” to see off Slovakia on Sunday.

It was another underwhelming performance from Southgate’s side until goals from Jude Bellingham and Harry Kane overturned Ivan Schranz’s opener for Slovakia.

Former England defender Neville told ITV: “Sweet Caroline doesn’t sound very sweet. Relief is the word of the day.

“We’ve been very, very lucky and we should thank our lucky stars because we were woeful and we’ve been woeful now for four games.

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“Not even in extra time did we play well and Slovakia were unlucky at the end.

“We’ve got to change something dramatically and Gareth will realise tonight that he was so close to the edge.”

Fellow pundit Ian Wright agreed that it was difficult to be optimistic, despite England making the last eight of the tournament.

Wright told ITV: “It’s very difficult to look at England and feel confident going forward.

“We just showed that we’ve got two players who are capable of pulling it out of the fire for us.”

John Stones on England’s dramatic win over Slovakia

Meanwhile, John Stones insists England are ready to take the handbrake off after their “fight and desire” saw them reach the Euro 2024 quarter-finals.

Gareth Southgate’s side looked set to be heading home as Ivan Schranz’s first-half strike had Slovakia ahead until Jude Bellingham’s overhead kick deep into stoppage time tied the game.

Harry Kane then headed home to secure a 2-1 victory that sets up a quarter final clash with Switzerland in Dusseldorf on Saturday.

Like their performances in the group stage, England laboured at times but ultimately got the job done and now Stones believes the team can now play with more freedom in Germany.

“What a game, what a way for us to get through,” said Stones.

“It was not the way that we wanted to but I think the fight, the desire… that people wanted to see from us at home, from people in the stands – that fight for the shirt, for everyone that’s come out to support us was there and more.

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“That’s what’s got us through, we didn’t play the best and that is down to us, which is frustrating,

“But I hope now, coming through such a tough time and doing things, taking risks with the ball, we can implement that now and kind of take the handbrake off in some senses to let our quality show.”

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