First of all we have to say well done to the England team and the manager.

Having managed myself at all the different levels I have to make the point about how well this manager has done.

Gareth Southgate has, I think, surprised lots of people who didn’t expect what he has achieved so far.

I mentioned previously that this is probably the first World Cup since 1966 that England didn’t think we should win given the lack of English players in the Premier League these days.

It was generally felt that to qualify for the last 16 would be an achievement, and Gareth has not only done that but we are now through to the last eight.

Luck always play a part in football, or any sport, and the games we thought we would have to play to get through to the last eight would be against countries such as Germany, who should be much stronger than us.

But they aren’t there anymore, they are back home, along with other strongly fancied countries such as Spain, Argentina etc.

Having said all of that there is a warning there that if these teams still left are good enough to knockout the so-called strong ones we should not take anything for granted. The old saying must be remembered ‘one game at a time.’ The next game is today against Sweden and I would think it will be more of a European type match as opposed to the South American quality last week, which put the referee under so much pressure.

I have seen the referee given five out of ten for his performance. I personally think he did a fantastic job.

Wherever he looked there was something going on, and plenty more behind his back, especially at set-pieces where the pulling of shirts and arms carried on even though referees had been warned after the first round to look out for it.

The attitude of the Colombian players was always to object to major decisions.

To see them gathered around the referee objecting to what was an obvious penalty gave one of them the opportunity to scrape his studs against the penalty spot to try and make it more difficult but the master, Harry Kane, got the goal.

Everyone thought the game was done and dusted when the opposition scored a last minute goal. More often than not that means they go into extra-time flying high with the other team, who have worked their socks off, having their heads down a bit.

The fact we played so well and competitively in those 30 minutes is a credit to the management staff.

Then of course the penalties, which historically we never do well at, was the part which had nail biting going on in every house, club, pub etc around England and all round the world.

For the young player Dier to come up for the final one not expecting to take it - it should have been apparently Jamie Vardy who said he had a strained muscle - was incredible.

The penalties at any stage of any game with so many people watching are hard to take but to have to walk alone from the half way line with the crowds watching and the knowledge it had to go in will stay with that man for the rest of his life.

The atmosphere is now bubbling around all supporters, but mainly in the England camp.

I bet they can’t wait to get started today.

I am sure they have been put in the right frame of mind, nothing will be taken for granted and fingers crossed even though they probably have no nails left and let’s hope for another good result.

  • I recently noticed a story that said that the cheapest tickets for the World Cup are about £85, but English supporters trying to get to Russia recently by buying through ticket agencies have been asked as much as £300-£400, and even more for higher priced seats.

This surely cannot be right.

Why can’t all tickets be bought through The FA, who could take on casual staff to allow for it. I am sure supporters wouldn’t mind an added £5-£10 to pay for this.

Also, are Colombian fans paying the same price for their tickets?