Men's Team

Stones: 'England out to make everyone's dreams come true'

Stones: 'England out to make everyone's dreams come true'
John Stones says he and his England colleagues will be striving to ‘make everyone’s dreams come true’ in Wednesday’s eagerly awaited Euro 2020 semi-final against Denmark at Wembley.

The City defender has played a huge role in England’s march through to the last four and - along with club colleague Kyle Walker - is set to be a key defensive figure once again for Gareth Southgate’s side.

Stones says the fact the clash with Kasper Hjulmand’s side is taking place at England’s national home will give arguably the biggest game in this country in 25 years even more significance.

And he believes the Three Lions squad have learned and digested the lessons from the disappointment of going out in the 2018 World Cup semi-final in Russia.

“I’m so excited about the semi-final. And I think the fact it’s at Wembley will make it even more of a huge occasion,” Stones declared speaking to the official England podcast.

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“It’s amazing. We have made the semi-finals of the last three last tournaments (2018 World Cup, 2019 Nations Cup and Euro 2020)

“Now we’ve got to try and make that one step further and keep improving as a team and make everyone’s dreams come true.

“We know what we are up against and I’ve got to give Denmark so much respect after what happened with Christian Eriksen in their opening game.

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“To go on after what happened is credit to them and they are in the semi-final for a reason.

“We have been in some major games in the past like the World Cup semi-final in Russia which was heart-breaking.

“It was a massive lesson, but I feel we have learnt a lot from those experiences and hopefully we can get the job done on Wednesday and be ourselves.

“That’s the thing - to have our own identity and philosophy as a team as well as that bit of old school, heart on the sleeve mentality as players.

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“To have the semi-final at Wembley will be such a massive occasion for all of us.

“What a night it will be for us all on Wednesday. We are all super excited.”

Stones has started all five of England’s games so far at Euro 2020 and has carried the superb form he demonstrated with City throughout the 2020/21 season onto the international stage.

WATCH: City Unfiltered: John Stones

The England defence has garnered widespread collective praise after keeping clean sheets in every single match so far.

And Stones said there was huge personal and professional satisfaction from the way the Three Lions’ back-line had performed.

“Keeping a clean sheet is like celebrating a goal for us defenders,” the City centre back asserted.

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“Our mentality at the back has been to keep that clean sheet all the way through the tournament and, so far, it has come off really well.

“We have got that culture where we know each other’s games more and literally celebrate a clean sheet like a goal.

“They are little wins for us as a team and it creates great energy on the pitch.

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“And I think those things set the tone sometimes on the pitch and get us fired up as defenders.

“It shows the pride for us as players doing our jobs.

“We want to keep this clean sheet record going and try to get this snowball effect in a tournament that is so important and to have that platform to let the strikers up top show their quality and skill.

“I’m so proud on a personal note and I’m proud of the boys around me as well.”

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