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England can harness pain of setbacks to overcome Italy, insists Gareth Southgate

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Gareth Southgate has called on his England players to harness the pain of the recent past to inspire a triumphant future, as he prepared to kick-off his fourth tournament campaign as the manager.

England face Italy at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Thursday night in their opening Euro 2024 qualifier – the name of the venue alone enough to stir the demons.

As the favourite son of Naples, where he drove the city’s team to their only two Serie A titles to date, Maradona’s image is everywhere.

Southgate joked that he had better not talk about Maradona’s history with England but he did not hide from his team’s recent history with Italy, who beat them on penalties at Wembley in the final of the last European Championship.

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