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Lingard reflects on England's World Cup semi-final complacency against Croatia ahead of Nations League clash

10:48 AM WAT 05/06/2019
Jesse Lingard England
The Three Lions are preparing for a second last-four clash in 12 months and their midfielder admits they should have seen the game out last time round

England got complacent in last year's World Cup semi-final against Croatia, says Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard, and were ultimately defeated by players with more big-game experience. 

The Three Lions are preparing to line up for another last-four clash on Thursday, this time against Netherlands in the UEFA Nations League

Gareth Southgate's side delivered England's best showing at a major tournament since 1996 last summer but were ultimately defeated by Croatia, despite taking the lead through a Kieran Trippier free-kick in the fifth minute. 

A second-half effort from Ivan Perisic took the clash to extra time and Mario Mandzukic made it 2-1 with 11 minutes to play to ensure Croatia took a spot against France in the final. 

Looking back on the game while filming a YouTube video with former Arsenal striker Ian Wright, Lingard, who played the full semi-final in Russia, said of the moment Trippier put England 1-0 up: “It was mad.

”I think we got a bit too ahead of ourselves, thinking we could actually win it.

“Then we just got complacent at the end, we should have seen the game out.

“That whole tournament was up there, that’ll live in the memory,” he continued.

Croatia went on to finish runners-up, losing 4-2 to France in the final, although Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric won the Golden Ball award as the most outstanding player of the tournament. 

“I think it was the experience, they had Modric and [Ivan] Rakitic and they had been in semi-finals before, they know how to handle situations," added Lingard.

England went on to finish above Croatia in their Nations League group campaign, defeating Zlatko Dalic's side 2-1 at Wembley in the last fixture to ensure qualification for the finals. 

Lingard was named in Southgate's 23-man squad to face Netherlands, but last summer's semi-final scorer Trippier missed out to right-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kyle Walker.

The Tottenham defender admitted he deserved the snub, though, having been below par for his club last season and struggling with a number of minor injuries.

Should England be successful against a talented Dutch side, a final against either Portugal or Switzerland would await.