Gareth Southgate: England team in a 'different place mentally' ahead of Euro 2024 quarter-final

Gareth Southgate has said his England team are in a "different place mentally" ahead of Saturday's quarter-final Euros clash against Switzerland.

The manager, speaking during a press conference on Friday, said there was a growing belief among his players that they could succeed in the tournament despite criticism over their performances so far.

He told reporters: "I feel the team, even in training now, look in a different place mentally. More fluid. I'm expecting us to play well on Saturday...

"The longer the players are here the more belief they have, the less they're being affected by what's outside, they can see the opportunity."

Southgate added: "We have to deliver tomorrow, have to be ready to go right until the last minute again and dig deep.

"But they're highly motivated guys and can see the possibility of a semi-final. They're excited to take that challenge on."

The match, which kicks off at 5pm UK time, will be Southgate's 100th in charge of the national side.

He said he was "very proud" to reach the milestone but also described it as "the least important stat of the week".

However, the coach has been under fire over his team's recent performances - including a disappointing 0-0 draw against Slovenia in the group stage.

England were also seconds from being eliminated during the last-16 match against Slovakia until they were saved by a last-minute equaliser from Jude Bellingham.

The Three Lions went on to win 2-1 after extra-time.

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Reports have suggested Southgate intends to tweak England's formation in Dusseldorf in a bid to improve the side's fortunes.

However, he refused to be drawn on suggestions the side would switch to a back three in defence.

"We're always considering the best way to approach a game. In modern football, you build and defend in different ways," he said.

"Switzerland themselves spend time building the game in a back four, they're very fluid in their formation.

"A formation on a piece of paper - a team are rarely in that shape."

Southgate also revealed that defender Luke Shaw - who has sat out England's games in Germany so far while he recovered from an injury - was fit to start on Saturday.

But he was coy over whether the Manchester United star would play - as he praised his England stand-in Kieran Trippier.

"Trippier has been outstanding for us. Luke Shaw is available, available to start. But Kieran has done a brilliant job for the team," he said.

The press conference came after it emerged that star player Bellingham will be allowed to play against Switzerland following an investigation by UEFA over a gesture he made during England's last match.

The football body instead handed the midfielder a one-match suspended ban and a €30,000 (£25,400) fine.

When asked about the punishment, Southgate said: "I thought it was a common sense decision. Clearly, when you score a goal of the quality he did, at the moment he did, at the age he did you're going to have a rush of adrenaline."

He added: "I don't feed a particular need to spend additional time with Jude on that. He's an intelligent guy."