England’s big World Cup pleasure was proving people wrong, says Kyle Walker

• Defender contrasts reaction with what followed Iceland defeat• Walker says Gareth Southgate ‘needs to take the most credit’ Kyle Walker believes England “brought the nation together” by reaching the World Cup semi-finals and proved their critics wrong in the process, with the Manchester City defender singling out Gareth Southgate as the man who deserves the credit for transforming the fortunes of a team that had been pilloried after losing against Iceland two years earlier. Although Walker described the players as “absolutely gutted” to miss out on a place in the World Cup final, he said they could take great encouragement from the emotional scenes at the end of Wednesday night’s defeat against Croatia, when England fans showed their respect for the team’s performances in Russia by staying behind to applaud the players and singing their names.
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