'Everyone was talking about the final, football's coming home... you need a reality check'

'Everyone was talking about the final, football's coming home... you need a reality check'

England's John Stones reacts after Croatia's Mario Mandzukic scores his side's winner last night. Picture: Tim Goode/PA Wire.

ROY KEANE always speaks his mind.

And the Cork legend let the English know exactly what many of their neighbours were thinking about their exploits in the World Cup by blasting them for ‘getting carried away’ with reaching the semi-final.

Keane was a pundit on ITV along with former Arsenal striker Ian Wright for England’s 2-1 extra-time loss to Croatia and didn’t hold back after they fell short of making the final against France.

The Republic of Ireland assistant boss had previously warned Wright about looking too far ahead when England were still in the group stages in Russia.

The Mayfield man pulled no punches when he suggested many England fans lost track of reality during this World Cup run.

“Before the game, the whole talk was about the final, the final,” said Keane, referring to Wright. “Everyone was talking about the final... ‘football’s coming home’.

“I don’t mind you being happy, but you were planning the final, where the parades were. You need a reality check man. Get excited when they get to the final man!

“You are a grown man, you have played the game. You know how hard it is to get to these big finals or even get to these World Cups. You know what I’m talking about, relax yourself.”

Wright attempted to mimic Keane’s Cork accent as he fought a losing battle against the former Man United midfielder, much to the amusement of fellow panellists Gary Neville and Lee Dixon.

The English TV coverage of the World Cup had been little more than flag-waving support of their side, with minimal analysis of the weaknesses in Gareth Southgate’s team and tactics.

Ultimately they failed their toughest test, despite taking an early lead in Moscow thanks to a Kieran Trippier free. England still have a third-fourth placed play-off against Belgium to come on Saturday, a side they were beaten by already.

That loss put them on the easier side of the draw and while Southgate’s charges impressed at times in knocking out Colombia and Sweden, they retreated too deep and couldn’t find any rhythm after Croatia equalised. Top scorer Harry Kane was a peripheral figure and the Croats, into their first final having lost the 1998 semi-final to France, were in control before Mario Mandzukic’s extra-time winner.

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