Gallagher Hopes Iceland Defeat Will Spark England’s Euro 2024 Campaign

Conor Gallagher, a midfielder for England, is hoping the team’s surprising defeat to Iceland in a Euro 2024 warm-up match can serve as a wake-up call. England, considered a favorite to win the tournament, suffered a 1-0 loss at Wembley in their final match before heading to Germany.

Despite their loss, England remains a formidable force, boasting a wealth of attacking talent including Harry Kane, Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden, and Bukayo Saka. They are expected to navigate their group, which includes Denmark and Slovenia, with relative ease. Gallagher believes the Iceland match could be a valuable lesson in avoiding complacency.

“It’s very important (to win the opening game) in tournament football,” Gallagher said. “Just doing the first thing as well as you can — even if it is the right pass, winning your tackle, winning your headers, second balls, doing the basics — to give the team confidence to go and win that first game.” He added, “It wasn’t a good result and not the best performance (against Iceland). It could be good that it happened. It could be a wake-up call for us that it is not easy to win games against any country and we can be more than ready to beat Serbia.”

Gallagher, who is currently in the midst of a transfer saga, is eager to make a positive impact for his country. He credits new Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino for bolstering his confidence and improving his game. “I’ve come a long way this season. I give a lot of credit to (Mauricio) Pochettino and what he’s done for me,” Gallagher said. “It puts me in a better position to be in the team this tournament. He just showed his belief and trust in me which is all a player wants. If a manager shows you a bit of love it makes you play better and, long story short, gives you confidence and that’s what he gave me.”

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