Sunday 17 June 2018, 08:00

Dele thinks self-belief can spur England to glory

  • Dele confident of successful World Cup campaign for England

  • Midfielder believes Three Lions can beat anyone at Russia 2018

  • England face Tunisia in the Group G opener in Volgograd on Monday

By Laure James with England

Ahead of England’s FIFA World Cup™ opener against Tunisia on Monday, Dele believes the Three Lions’ self-confidence can lead them to success at Russia 2018.

The midfielder told the squad is confident they can beat anyone, including potential quarter-final opponents and World Cup holders, Germany.

“We fancy ourselves against anyone we play, given the squad we’ve got and the players we’ve got - we’ve come here to win it,” Dele said. “You have to have the mentality that whoever we come up against, we can beat.

“We’ve watched clips [of Tunisia], it’s hard to watch whole games when you’re busy, but we know how we want to play and we've got to know their strengths and weaknesses, they’re a very good side, some people in England when the draw was made maybe thought it would be an easy game but it’s definitely not, this is the World Cup, you're not going to get an easy game, so you have to be ready.”

The Tottenham Hotspur man, however, admitted talk of how far England can progress is not a conversation topic in camp.

“We’re all confident in ourselves and the team we have,” he said. “We have a young, a very talented squad, so we don’t say how far we can go in the tournament, we just have to enjoy the time together and put the energy in the right way and play as well as we know we can.”

Dele, who made his senior international debut in 2015, is lauded for his versatility and keen eye for a pass, so can he be the key to unlock Tunisia’s solid defence?

“I hope so! I guess we have to be confident in ourselves and there are lots of players in our squad who can play and score goals, but we have to be switched on, because at any time, if we’re dominating possession, they can win the ball. They’ve got quality.”