Raheem Sterling has accused to the Wembley boo-boys of getting in a “panic” – along with the rest of the country. TV pundits and the rest of the media are fanning the concern and losing too quickly the trust that was built with the nation by the 2018 World Cup squad.
But in the cold light of day the England winger is adamant – the players still trust Harry Kane and Euro 2020 is far from over.
“I do feel there’s a bit of an over-reaction on the whole,” Sterling said. “I just feel there’s more of a panic on the outside than inside the building.
“Panic at the same the players who have been at a few tournaments, who have huge experience, trying to help the other ones.
“I don’t see anyone in the camp that feels any pressure or feels hard done by.
“As much as we can inside the building the best thing we can do is focus on the training field, focus on what’s being doing inside.
“We really shouldn’t be looking what’s the papers are saying, what pundits are saying.
“That’s something we need to take on board for the rest of this tournament – the more you listen to outside noise, the more it can affect you.”
Kane has been the particular target for criticism this time after two uncharacteristically innocuous performances so far.
But Sterling added: “He hasn’t scored in two games – that’s not that serious. It’s two games and I’m sure when whether when we need him most, he’s going to score. That’s not a question in my mind.
“For goalscoring, for me, if not the best striker in the world, he’s up there, no question about it.
“We as a team, of course, need to produce more for him – more crosses in the box. But it’s two games gone by, of course he’s a player who knows he can score in every single game, and he will be the first person to be disappointed but at the same I know when it’s crunch time Harry will be there, that’s for sure.”
“It’s not every team that wins their first few games that goes onto win. Sometimes teams that have drawn their first two games have gone onto win so we’ve just got to stay motivated, be happy and enjoy our football.
“It just shows that it’s still early days and we’ve got a lot to build on and I truly do believe we can do that.”
After an admittedly disappointing performance against Scotland, the fact is Sterling simply does not want to contemplate heading down any other route than remaining unashamedly positive.
“I’m not saying on the outside it’s negativity,” he said. “But we don’t want any negativity creeping in and performance levels dropping, and confidence level dropping.
“That’s all that negativity will do.”