England are not getting the credit they deserve for their World Cup performances, so says Declan Rice, who claimed other nations will fear the Three Lions, Njenje Media News reports.
Despite a sluggish start to Sunday’s match at Al Bayt Stadium, Gareth Southgate’s side eased through to the quarter-finals of the World Cup with a 3-0 victory over Senegal.
Jude Bellingham starred as Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka scored to set up a tie with France on Saturday.
England have come under some criticism for their pragmatic approach to major tournaments under Southgate, yet after four games they are the top scorers in the competition with 12 goals, while they have conceded just twice at the other end.
“I’m delighted. It was a real top performance,” Rice said.
“There was a lot of energy, some great goals. We knew Senegal posed a massive threat but we shut them down and now we march on.
“I’ve said it all along – we’ve not been getting the credit we deserve with our performances. If you look at other teams, like the Netherlands and Argentina, they win their games comfortably and it gets called a masterclass, but with us it always gets picked off.
“If you look at our last couple of games we’ve been faultless. Other countries should be fearing us now.
“I think we’re starting to silence the critics. Going into the tournament there was always a lot of talk that we don’t score enough goals – again, that’s another one we’ve kept people quiet on. There was scrutiny around the defence and conceding goals but it’s been solid so we’re going to keep building and pushing.”
Rice did add: “We’re building a solid foundation and it’s down to us now – there’s no point being buzzing about tonight if we can’t push on and beat France.”
While Rice turned in a typically composed display at the base of England’s midfield, Bellingham was the star of the show.
The Borussia Dortmund midfielder set up Henderson’s opener and played a crucial role in Kane making it 2-0 on the stroke of half-time.
“He’s thriving on the main stage,” Rice said of the 19-year-old. “It makes me happy to see that, when you’ve got a player like that who is so strong and athletic, creating the chances he’s creating.
“He’s been doing it for Dortmund all season and is now doing it for us. It was a real collective team performance from us tonight all over the pitch, magnificent.”
Of going up against France and the World Cup’s leading goalscorer Kylian Mbappe, Rice said: “These are the game we want to play in. England versus France quarter-final – it doesn’t get bigger than that. We’ve got six days now to prepare, we know the world will be watching and we want to progress.”