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Beating Germany at the Euros changed England’s mentality, says Stones

ohn Stones believes England’s victory over Germany at Euro 2020 has changed the team’s mentality ahead of big games with their rivals.

England beat Germany at Wembley in the last 16 of last summer’s Euros, claiming their first knockout victory against them in 55 years.

Before that, the Three Lions had lost all four of their major tournament knockout ties to Germany after beating them in the 1966 World Cup final.

Stones believes beating Germany last year was a defining moment for England, changing the way they view games against them.

The pair are due to meet in the Nations League on Tuesday, with England traveling to Munich for the first meeting since last summer.

“I think that was probably the turning point in this tournament to believe that we could go on and try to win,” Stones said, reflecting on last year’s win over Germany at the Euros.

“For us to play against top opponents, top players and play the way we have, it has given us the belief that we can compete with these teams and with these players on a regular basis.

“In the past, I felt that as a team [if] it’s a tough game, or it was a tough game, and I feel like the mentality has almost changed to the extent that we know we’re capable of winning this game. So there is a big change in mentality.

Stones started that win and was a key part of the England side that made it to the Euros final, eventually losing to Italy on penalties.

The centre-back, however, only returned to the squad at the start of the year after missing 10 games from November 2019 to March 2021.

Stones has fallen out of favor for club and country, now revealing he fears his England career is over.

“I can’t remember how long I was out of the squad, but I wasn’t playing at City and you have to play and play well to be called up,” he said.

“I didn’t know if I would be called back and I used that as kind of motivation to come back and that was a big one – not a change in mentality – but the realization of what I can do and what I should do to be here.

“I had a dream when I was a kid, to play for England, to try and get 50 caps for England and I achieved that. I didn’t think I would.


“I was over 40 something [caps] at the time I wasn’t playing and never thought I’d get that opportunity again so for me no matter what games we have I’m still extremely proud to be called up for one and to play for England.

“Everyone doubts themselves in certain situations where things are not going well. I had to get out of that mentality and try to go back when I did. It made it even more special.

Stones is now on 56 caps for England and is not setting a limit on how many more he could rack up.

“To be fair, there’s a book on this kind of mindset stuff and it says don’t be one target,” he added. “Your goal should be to get as many as you can and have that mindset. So I’m going to try to get as many as I can.

standard Sport

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