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Joe Hart’s BBC Sport column: ‘Winning these Euros not just down to having the best players’

Joe Hart's BBC Sport column

One of the reasons I am so excited about for this tournament is I believe England have a great chance of winning it.

I know a lot of our players well from my time with the squad, especially some of the defenders – Kyle Walker and John Stones regularly played in front of me at international level – and I’ve known Kieran Trippier since we were teenagers at Manchester City.

They are top-class players who will have a huge say in how we do this time. I am looking forward to watching them from a personal point of view, but also to assess them from a professional viewpoint, to see how much they have grown since I was last with them.

I played under Gareth Southgate too, and I feel like his confidence has increased a lot since my time with the squad, when he had just stepped up from the Under-21s to take the England job on an interim basis.

He’s had success at the past two tournaments, reaching the semi-finals at the 2018 World Cup and then the final at the last European Championship, and it also seems like everyone loves playing under him, which is so important.

For everything that is talked about by people outside the squad, it is what happens in the camp that really matters and Gareth has built an environment where they will feel safe and will be very focused.

It looks like the manager and players understand each other and what it takes to go the distance, so they will be able to put themselves in the best position to execute all the planning and hard work that they have already put in.

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