England midfielder Declan Rice has admitted that ‘faultless’ performances in the World Cup so far have helped silence their critics, but that they still deserve more credit.

Gareth Southgate’s side were comfortable 3-0 winners against Senegal on Sunday, setting up a mouth-watering quarter-final against reigning champions France.

England also had the best record during the group stage as they were one of only three teams to earn seven points along with the Netherlands and Morocco but did so with a superior goal difference, scoring nine and conceding just two goals.

But Rice thinks that the Three Lions’ improvements and formidable displays aren’t being praised enough.

“I don’t think we get the credit we deserve in our performances,” explained the West Ham midfielder.

“If you look at other teams, like the Netherlands and Argentina, they win their games comfortably and they get called ‘masterclasses’.

“With us, it always gets picked off. The negative things always come that way.

“If you look at the last couple of games, it’s been faultless. I think countries should be starting to fear us now because we’re a great team.

“Going into the tournament, there was a lot of talk that we don’t score enough goals. That’s another one we’ve kept people quiet on.

“There was a lot of scrutiny around the defence and conceding goals, but it’s been solid. We’re going to keep building and pushing.”

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While Southgate has often been criticised for his pragmatic style of play, England have equalled their highest-ever goals tally at major tournaments with 12 so far in Qatar.

At the back, they have now kept a clean sheet for three consecutive games, their best record in a World Cup since 1982.

Though impressive, these stats will mean little should England fail to beat France on Saturday. Rice agrees.

“These are the games we want to play in,” he said of the crunch match. “They only come around once. England versus France, quarter-final – it doesn’t get bigger than that.”

“I’m sure the world will be watching. We really want to progress. There’s no point buzzing [about victory over Senegal] if we can’t push on and beat France.”

Credit: 90min.com

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