Euro 2020: England stars spend day off in the pool… but there’s no inflatable unicorns this time! – Asia Despatch

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England stars spend their day off in the pool after Croatia victory as Man City stars Phil Foden and Kyle Walker make a splash… but, unlike in Russia three years ago, there’s no inflatable unicorns this time!

England cooled off from their Euro 2020 victory against Croatia by spending their day off in the swimming pool.

Raheem Sterling scored the only goal of the game at Wembley on Sunday to ensure the Three Lions kicked off their Group D campaign with a victory.

And spirits were evidently still high as the likes of Manchester City duo Phil Foden and Kyle Walker engaged in a game of headed keepy-uppies with goalkeeper Jordan Pickford at St George’s Park.

Midfielder Phil Foden

Defender Tyrone Mings

England cooled off from their Euro 2020 victory against Croatia by spending their day off in the swimming pool

Phil Foden (L), Jordan Pickford (centre) and Kyle Walker (right) made a splash in a recovery session

Phil Foden (L), Jordan Pickford (centre) and Kyle Walker (right) made a splash in a recovery session

Trio were relaxing on their day off at St George's Park after opening their Euro 2020 with a win

Trio were relaxing on their day off at St George’s Park after opening their Euro 2020 with a win

Defender Tyrone Mings was also enjoying himself when having a splash with his England team-mates, who appear to have engaged in a series of games in the pool with colourful, smaller-sized balls as part of their recuperation.

There were inflatables in the pool too, but the inflatable unicorns which went viral from England’s pool session during the 2018 World Cup were nowhere to be seen.

The likes of Jesse Lingard, Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson showed off their playful side three years ago when they were seen playing around on inflatable unicorns, but they appear to have been ditched for the time being at least.

Meanwhile, Mason Mount was among the players to play basketball as part of a recovery session, while star midfielder Kalvin Phillips was also seen trying to shoot a hoop outside.   

Midfielder Mason Mount was one of the players to take part in an indoor basketball session

Midfielder Mason Mount was one of the players to take part in an indoor basketball session

Kalvin Phillips - who impressed on Sunday - was also seen shooting hoops outside

Kalvin Phillips – who impressed on Sunday – was also seen shooting hoops outside

But there were no inflatable unicorns as there were in their 2018 World Cup recovery sessions

But there were no inflatable unicorns as there were in their 2018 World Cup recovery sessions

The likes of Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish and Bukayo Saka – who did not feature at the weekend – were then seen practicing their shooting as they maintained their fitness ahead of the rest of the campaign.

Southgate’s men will now turn their attention to facing Scotland at Wembley in what the 50-year-old boss described as ‘an incredible game’.

Steve Clarke’s men currently sit bottom of the group after suffering a 2-0 reverse at the hands of Czech Republic – who went above England to top Group D – on Monday at Hampden Park.

But Southgate insists his side cannot be ‘football snobs’ on Friday and appeared to offer his side the option of playing one route football during the tournament.

Southgate has focused on a possession-based philosophy during his spell in charge of the national team but said on Sunday: ‘There are moments to go longer, we’ve got a centre forward (Harry Kane) who wins more than his fair share of the ball.

Bukayo Saka did not feature on Sunday but was seen doing some shooting practice at St George's Park

Bukayo Saka did not feature on Sunday but was seen doing some shooting practice at St George’s Park

‘We shouldn’t be football snobs. It’s great to play out from the back and get to the halfway line in control of the ball.

‘However, it’s just as effective to go straight to the centre forward, be in control of the ball and be able to play from there. The variety is important against top opposition.’

Sportsmail columnists Gordon Strachan and Brian Laudrup however have backed the Scots to keep their Euro 2020 hopes alive against England. 

That sentiment was also shared by former Manchester United technical director Darren Fletcher.

England kicked off their Euro 2020 campaign with a win against Croatia thanks to Raheem Sterling's goal

England kicked off their Euro 2020 campaign with a win against Croatia thanks to Raheem Sterling’s goal

England boss Gareth Southgate insists his side cannot be 'football snobs' on Friday

England boss Gareth Southgate insists his side cannot be ‘football snobs’ on Friday

‘It’s bitterly disappointing, the anticipation and excitement, everyone saying we couldn’t afford to lose this. We did,’ Fletcher told the Asia Despatch after Scotland’s defeat. 

‘There was nothing between the teams but the energy sapped after that second goal. We have to pick ourselves up and get behind the nation and not try to reflect too much.

‘It’s a very difficult game next, but this team are capable. We have to remember how we got here, we were resilient.

‘I am not ruling us out against England. I know there will be disappointment, but pick yourselves up and go to Wembley and who knows?’

Scotland currently sit bottom of Group D after a 2-0 defeat by Czech Republic on Monday

Scotland currently sit bottom of Group D after a 2-0 defeat by Czech Republic on Monday

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