Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips reveals England hope in first message since Euros heartbreak

Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips hopes England are working on 'something bigger' in the wake of Euros heartbreak.

Monday, 12th July 2021, 11:17 am
Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips in action for England against Italy at Wembley. Pic: Getty

The Whites midfielder started every Three Lions fixture at this summer's delayed international tournament, his debut competition for his country.

Phillips was a key component to Gareth Southgate's midfield as England went on to reach their first major final for 55 years against Italy.

The Azzurri, though, claimed victory and the European Championship trophy at Wembley on Sunday night in a dramatic penalty shootout in the capital.

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England took the lead through Luke Shaw inside two minutes before Leonardo Bonucci levelled in the second half.

After the two sides failed to be separated following a period of extra-time it was England winger Bukayo Saka who saw his decisive penalty saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Phillips will now take a well-earned break after an intense six weeks with England but believes the tournament can be a platform for the future.

"We've come a step too short but we're working on something bigger," Phillips reflected after the game.

"We've built a lot over the last five weeks, hopefully we can carry on doing that into the next year and the World Cup."

Phillips and the rest of the England squad were greeted by their families post-match at Wembley before going their separate ways.

Three Lions head coach Southgate continued to face questions from the media on Monday morning in the wake of the loss.

"If you want sustained success as a team, you need to be constantly evolving, improving and constantly finishing in latter stages of tournaments," he said.

"It feels like my stomach has been ripped out this morning. But the fact we have had the first signs of some consistency - a World Cup semi-final and a Euro final - has to be a step in the right direction.

"When you're in sport and you get to finals, those opportunities are so rare, so to be close, it's very hard the day after. You have given everything - the emotions are drained.

"We will go again. It's too easy to say we can go to the World Cup in Qatar and win - but that's a bit glib. We still have to qualify, we still have to win. You have to start the cycle again.

"But to be able to work with these players every day has been fantastic, so when it comes to the end like it has now, it's hard."