Winks hoping for better outcome against Croatia
Fri 12 October 2018, 10:30|Tottenham Hotspur
Harry Winks watched England battle Croatia from afar in the summer, but the midfielder is now at Gareth Southgate’s disposal for tonight’s World Cup semi-final rematch – and is keen to make an impact.
After squaring off on the world stage in Moscow, the two nations lock horns once more in a UEFA Nations League clash in Rijeka (7.45pm), with midfielder ‘Winksy’ – back from an ankle injury – one of four Spurs players in the squad, following the withdrawal of Danny Rose.
Kieran Trippier had set England on their way with a sublime free-kick in the opening minutes of that high-profile game back in July, but a late equaliser from Ivan Perišić and an extra-time winner from Mario Mandžukić dumped the Three Lions out of the tournament.
Like most of the country, England fan Harry was heartbroken by the defeat, but was still pleased for Club team-mate Kieran after his fine opener.
“I watched it on TV like most people,” Harry explained. “First of all I was just over the moon and delighted for Trips because he deserved it. It was a great moment and for him to do it on the biggest stage was brilliant, but then I thought we were in control and we could have gone on and won it. But, you know, it’s football.
“As an England fan, it’s never nice to see your team lose, especially in the semi-finals of a World Cup. For the boys like H (Harry Kane), Eric (Dier), Trips (Kieran Trippier), Danny (Rose) and Dele (Alli) who were all there – it will have been 10 times worse for them but, for me now, it’s a new experience going to play these kinds of teams and I’m looking forward to it.”
Harry hasn’t appeared for the senior England side since he made his debut against Lithuania back in October, 2017, but is hopeful of winning further caps in the matches against Croatia and Spain over the next few days.
“They’re good sides, they have some great players, both fixtures are going to be tough but I’m just looking forward to the experience of being there and seeing how it’ll be,” said the 22-year-old.
“I’m new to the team so I'm thinking just to go in there, try to impress and do well. If I get the opportunity to play then great but if not I’m looking to enjoy the experience, be around the boys again and challenge myself.”