England finished at the second spot in Group B © Getty Images
England finished at the second spot in Group B © Getty Images

Saint-Etienne (France): England may been struggling to score at the ongoing Euro 2016 football tournament, but defender Gary Cahill is confident that that his team’s star-studded forwardline will find their feet in the knockout stages. England finished at the second spot in Group B, but their performances have been far from impressive as their forwardline studded with English Premier League (EPL) stars have struggled against the likes of Russia, Wales and Slovakia. They wasted a hatful of chances against Slovakia in their third and last group match at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard here on Monday evening and were held to a goalless draw.

“The way we’re playing we shouldn’t fear anyone. I definitely feel like we are going to give someone a real beating soon. I hope that we do that. We have had six shots against us in the three group games and had over 20 shots ourselves against Slovakia. In terms of possession, dominating the game and creating chances, we have to be pleased,” Cahill told the media after the match.

“The rhythm was there, we had ball constantly but just didn’t have the cutting edge to open them up.” Cahill admitted that he was frustrated with England’s inability to score, but was quick to defend his teammates’ performance. “But we are also frustrated, we had so much possession in the second half and I have not been involved in such a one-sided game as that for a long, long time. To not get the win at the end is frustrating,” the central defender said.

“It needed something special in games like that and we nearly did but it just wasn’t to be. We are disappointed, with the amount of possession we had we should have won the game,” he added. “It’s tough to play at this intensity, the manager felt confident in the squad and the players too though. You can’t say that we didn’t play well, we absolutely dominated the game.”

England will now meet the runners-up of Group F in the pre-quarterfinals on Monday, which could easily be Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal. But Cahill looked to the positives of an extra couple of days break. “But not finishing top [of the group] may not be the end of the world. Who knows how Portugal’s group will pan out? That group is very strange, Portugal could finish first, second or third. But if we do face them it will be far from an easy game. I feel that they have yet to get going and they have some great players,” he said. “It gives us time to get back fresh. We tried to bring fresh legs in tonight and I thought we looked good and on another day we should win.”