Danny Mills highlights 'outstanding' Leeds United star to issue strong England Euros message

DANNY Mills insists there are no huge problems with England at Euro 2020 - and used Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips to highlight his point.

Monday, 21st June 2021, 1:35 pm
Updated Monday, 21st June 2021, 1:36 pm

Phillips excelled in England's Group D opener against Croatia and was named England's official man of the match following a shift in a more advanced role than the one fulfilled for his club.

West Ham's Declan Rice was deployed in the midfield holding role and Phillips set up the only goal of the game for Raheem Sterling as the Three Lions began their European Championships with a 1-0 victory.

Rice and Phillips also lined up in the middle of the park for Friday night's clash against Scotland but England lacked a creative spark and were held to a goalless draw.

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FRESH IN THE MEMORY: Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips, left, set up the winner for Raheem Sterling, centre, in England's Euros opener against Croatia in which Declan Rice, right, also played the full match. Photo by Carl Recine - Pool/Getty Images.

The display was met by a portion of boos at the full-time whistle and there are now calls in some quarters for Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate to change his team and his midfield.

Mills, though, is keen to highlight the bigger picture of four points from a possible six, with the Croatia victory still fresh in the memory.

"We are seeing what normally happens in a championship," former Whites defender Mills said on Sky Sports News.

"Very rarely does a team go all the way through winning every single game, being absolutely exceptional from start to finish.

"Portugal didn't win a game in 90 minutes when they won the Euros, they didn't win a group game but they went on to win it so no one is bothered about that.

"Spain, when they won the World Cup, they lost their opening group game and then went on to win the World Cup.

"It's how you build into tournaments.

"Look at what Germany did. Germany lost their first game and then they bounced back with a magnificent performance.

"There are no really poor teams any more in these Championships, everybody has a fighting chance and if they perform and if they play well as Scotland did then on any given day they can give anybody a really good game.

"Scotland were maybe ten or 15 per cent above their usual, England were ten or 15 per cent below and of course you get a 30 per cent swing and that's the problem.

"Long term it's not a huge problem for England.

"Yes, I am sure there will be tweaks and they will try and address the situation but you can't go from Kalvin Phillips being absolutely outstanding against Croatia to suddenly why is he playing, why is he being picked?

"There's just no rhyme or reason for that at all."

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Thank you Laura Collins