Euro 2020: Kalvin Phillips quick to focus on Ukraine challenge after highs of beating Germany

Kalvin Phillips may be surprised over his own England involvement but the Leeds United man is relishing every second.

EVERY SECOND COUNTS: England midfielder Kalvin Phillips battles for possession with Kai Havertz. Picture: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
EVERY SECOND COUNTS: England midfielder Kalvin Phillips battles for possession with Kai Havertz. Picture: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The midfielder has been one of the stars for his nation at this summer’s European Championships, head coach Gareth Southgate happy for him to play every single minute of England’s four games so far.

And there were wild scenes of celebration inside and outside Wembley on Tuesday night as England booked their place in the lasy eight with a 2-0 win over Germany, courtesy of goals from Raheem Sterling and captain Harry Kane, something Phillips will never forget.

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“The atmosphere we experienced in the Germany game was out of this world,” said Phillips.

TRUST: England manager Gareth Southgate during a training session at St George's Park. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA

“I’ve never experienced anything like it, especially after the first goal. Even the second goal was ridiculous.”

A clash with Ukraine, though, awaits tonight and it will be the first time Southgate’s men have had to travel outside of their comfort zone in the tournament.

And for Phillips it has been important to come down quickly off a major high and refocus for tonight’s showdown.

“For me it’s quite easy because it’s the first time we’ve played Germany, so I didn’t know what it was like in the past,” he added.

England's Kalvin Phillips (left) and Czech Republic's Tomas Holes battle for the ball during the UEFA Euro 2020 Group D match at Wembley. Picture: Nick Potts/PA

“Obviously we want to go far in this tournament so we have to push that to one side with all the celebrations and go again against Ukraine.

“We’re looking forward to it. It will be a tough game like always and we’re playing at a decent stadium which will be nice.”

Andriy Shevchenko’s men secured passage in extra-time against Sweden at Hampden Park and are in unknown territory having reached the last eight.

Ukraine offers a different challenge to the one of Germany – with familiar faces in Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zincheko and West Ham’s Andriy Yarmolenko.

Past England teams know all too well about getting ahead of themselves in knockout competitions and Phillips says they won’t be taking their counterparts lightly.

“They have great players,” said Phillips.

“A few of the lads know them personally. It’s one of those games where you have to try and keep them quiet and stop them doing what they’re good at.

“If we do that then I’m pretty sure we can come away with a win.

“We’re going over to Rome and we know there won’t be as many fans but it’s about getting the result to bring it back here to Wembley for the semi-finals.”