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UEFA Nations League

Gomez: We understand the pressure of Switzerland game

16:04 BST 08/06/2019
Joe Gomez Liverpool 2018-19
The Liverpool defender has stressed that he and his team-mates are prepared for the Nations League third-place play-off on Sunday afternoon

England defender Joe Gomez has outlined the importance of his side’s upcoming UEFA Nations League third-place clash with Switzerland on Sunday.

The Three Lions fell to a 3-1 defeat after extra-time against Netherlands on Thursday, despite taking the lead through Marcus Rashford’s 32nd minute penalty, as goals from Matthijs de Ligt, Quincy Promes and Kyle Walker’s own goal sent Oranje through to the final.

Gomez didn’t feature in the semi-final defeat but is set to start on Sunday as England find themselves in a third-place play-off for the second time in just under a year – although a different outcome this time around is the aim.

“There'll always be pressure playing for England, whether a friendly or a competitive game like this one,” he told the Evening Standard.

“There's a certain level that goes with the territory. We want to bounce back, as most players do after a loss, and go into the summer on a positive note.

“We understand the pressure and we have to take it on the chin.

“You never take for granted playing for your country. I'm fairly early in my England career and I'm a long way from losing the desire to play for my country or having a lack of motivation.

“They have top quality players who some of us are familiar with. It's still a game to challenge for - the four teams here are here for a reason.”

Gomez could be in line to replace John Stones ahead of kick-off on Sunday, with the Manchester City defender coming under fire after making a costly mistake for Netherlands’ second goal.

The Liverpool defender has won six caps for his country since making his debut in November 2017 and made 25 appearances for the Reds across all competitions this season.

Team spirit has been a well-publicised problem with past England squads, no matter the individual quality, but that is something with which the 22-year-old has no qualms.

“One of the massive things for me was the togetherness of the whole camp,” he added.

“If you ask any of the players, it's a real pleasure to come here and be a part of the set-up and environment. That's a credit to the gaffer and staff. 

“It's a big part of the game, and definitely affects how you feel going into the game.

“Missing out on the World Cup was disappointing, but it made me ever more eager to be involved in future.”