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British Airways pilot Neil Rowe poses with fans at the England Sweden quarter-final match in Samara

British Airways pilot Neil Rowe poses with fans at the England Sweden quarter-final match in Samara Credit Alex Morton Getty

Meticulous preparation - including a trip to the United States to take in an National Basketball Association game - the selection of specific players with strong dead-ball delivery, and the defensive nature of high-pressure tournament football has led to a point where set pieces could yet lead England to a second World Cup title.

"I videoed it to look at the players, the matches and I guess as a young player you wanted to see the best players, the level they were playing and see what you could learn from it".

The broadcaster issued a hasty apology, tweeting: "Hands up - we got the World Cup tweet wrong".

"I'd love to be able to do it with however many millions who are watching at home but the supporters who are here, they're singing and I know what they've been through and I met lots of them before we came. What I would like is the England from before, but now they are very strong and we have to respect them", he said.

Hurst said none of the three teams still in Russian Federation should frighten England.

"France don't have a Hazard, a De Bruyne or a Lukaku, or a Fellaini, who played really well (against Brazil)".

I can definitely see similarities with this England team, and the connection they have made with your public, and not just because they are a similar age.

"I think he is playing out of his skin - he is doing so well".

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'They [Croatia] have got some fantastic players.

"But if they play three up top, it's not wise".

'If we get to the final, or if we don't get to the final, then we're one day short, it has been an absolute pleasure of an experience to share not just with the players but also the staff'.

"I think it's a great idea", said Seligson, who for the Sweden game on Saturday wore another traditional English apparel, a bowler hat.

Meanwhile, five of England's goals have been headers, also tying the record for a single World Cup since 1966.

"(We hoped we would have) a long month together, which we have done.

Croatia have gone through two extra times and two penalty shootouts - they must be shot, physically and mentally.

England secured their first semi-final place in the tournament for 28 years after seeing off Sweden 2-0 on Saturday, with only Croatia standing in their way of reaching the final following their dramatic penalty shootout victory against hosts Russian Federation.

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