Thursday, July 25, 2024

Cole Palmer hoping England can ‘finish the job’ against Spain

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Cole Palmer says it is time for England to “finish the job” and grab their life-changing opportunity in Sunday’s Euro 2024 final against Spain.

Gareth Southgate’s side head to Berlin this weekend for a shot at glory three years on from losing the continental showpiece on penalties to Italy.

England set up their date with destiny after coming back to beat the Netherlands 2-1 as super-sub Ollie Watkins struck home superbly in the 90th minute of the semi-final clash.

Cole Palmer (left) provided the assist for Ollie Watkins (centre) to snatch a last-gasp winner for England (Bradley Collyer/PA)

The striker was brought on with Palmer in place of Harry Kane and Phil Foden as the clock wound down, with the Chelsea star slipping him in to secure a famous win in Dortmund.

“Everyone’s buzzing,” Palmer said. “Last night on the bus tunes were on, changing room, everyone was just enjoying it.

“But obviously it’s a short turnaround and it’s a massive, massive game to change our lives, our family’s lives, and to make everyone proud. That’s what we’re trying to do.”

The 22-year-old attacking midfielder, speaking on Lions’ Den, continued: “I think if you’ve got this final then you have to hopefully finish the job.

“It’s all good getting to the final, and you’ve got to enjoy it because you don’t get many moments to enjoy. But, no, everyone just wants to win so bad.”

It is shaping up to be a dream first major tournament experience with England’s senior team for Watkins, Palmer and a number of others.

Southgate’s side have shaken off an unconvincing start and Palmer is looking to break Spanish hearts for the second straight summer, having won last year’s Under-21 European Championship final against them 1-0.

“In the first few games we didn’t play the best that we could and everyone knew that,” he said.

“But now I think as the tournament’s gone on, especially yesterday, I think we had our best game in the tournament, and that’s what you want going into the later stages.

“It’s huge. We played them last year in the Under-21s final, England versus Spain. Even that was a massive game, so I can’t imagine this one!”

England are looking to join Sir Alf Ramsey’s 1966 World Cup winners as the only men to have won a major trophy for the national team.

Southgate is the only man to have led the men’s team to two major finals and Palmer is full of praise for the environment he has created.

“I just think the togetherness that all the players have, he’s created that,” he added.

“It’s our first tournament and we can see how close the lads are and stuff like that. The amount of time he puts into the lads to make us better and for the matches.”

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