GARETH SOUTHGATE reckons England are on Mission Possible at the Qatar World Cup.
The Three Lions boss, preparing for Monday’s opener against Iran, has told his 26-man squad to think big again after losing the Euro 2020 final to Italy on penalties.
Southgate said: “Maybe we’ve made the impossible just look possible.
“It’s exciting for other people and I can understand that.
“We want England to be competitive for years to come and I believe our academy system has got that.
“We have also got some good players and should be competitive for the next six, eight years with this group.”
Southgate has a strong squad to pick from but James Maddison has not recovered from a knee injury, while Kyle Walker is still recovering from a groin problem — although could be back for Friday’s USA clash.
England may go with a back four against an Iran side ranked 20th in the world, one below Wales.
Southgate added: “We are in the middle of an economic recession and life has been difficult for a lot of our people.
“We want them to enjoy their football and have a journey with the team that brings some happiness.
“We have a tough game, though, and the team knows what to expect.”
England skipper Harry Kane is hoping to finish top scorer for the second successive World Cup.
He said: “You can’t take anything for granted. I was lucky enough to play in the 2018 World Cup.
“I’m really looking forward to this one.”
Kane says England’s recent run of six games without a win makes them more determined.
The Spurs ace insisted: “We back ourselves against any team. It’s down to us.
“It’s been a quick turnaround but we’re really looking forward to getting the tournament started.
“Iran are defensively very strong and compact. From a striker’s point of view, it will be difficult.”