We have connected with our fans again: England coach

The quest for the World Cup trophy hots up in the knock-out stages from Saturday

England approach the match fresh and injury-free, but their 23-man squad could well be a player light as Delph flew back to the United Kingdom straight after starting last Thursday's defeat to Belgium.

He and the players have been working hard ever since on reconnecting both on and off the pitch, but he knows the process will only be completed if they can win in Moscow and reach the last eight, the generally accepted minimum requirement at this tournament.

Gareth Southgate's playing career was defined by the shot he side-footed into the hands of Andreas Kopke as England then lost in the semi-finals at Wembley to Germany.

England have been practising penalties since March.

"His wife is due to go into labour - I have said all along to the players that this is a big tournament but family is more important", added the England manager, who said Delph has been a key part of the squad.

"We're aware the margins are going to be really fine in these knockout phases". There probably is another gear we can go to.

England impressed in their opening two wins over Tunisia and Panama, but came unstuck against Belgium in their third outing, slipping to a 1-0 defeat.

Portugal boss Fernando Santos says if Cristiano Ronaldo plays alone we lose
Gimenez returned to training this week for Uruguay, but Tabarez wouldn't respond to questions about his selection in the team. Luis Suarez can equal the record of being the highest scorer for Uruguay if he scores one against Portugal .

Falcao scored his first ever World Cup goal during the group stages, and has been enjoying somewhat of a career resurgence of late.

Retailer Marks & Spencer, which supplies the England team's official World Cup suit, said sales were up 35% "across all our waistcoats".

England manager Gareth Southgate has played down suggestions he may have inspired a fashion trend.

Even in their wildest dreams, few England fans could have hoped for the World Cup to pan out in the manner it has so far. But also, generally the better teams have won.

Ashley Young, who sat alongside Southgate at the press conference, missed a penalty himself during the Euro 2012 loss to Italy but would be confident enough to take another. The route we've got now is Colombia, who have been poor and had James Rodriguez limped out of the Senegal game.

"I know goalkeepers practice them a lot. I used to just dribble and stay wide and now I'm in the box more and getting more opportunities".

"We've always got to keep that in context for the players". "Yeah, I think so". For some of them, this will be one of the biggest games they'll have been involved in. The type of character I was, I felt you should put yourself forward.

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