Football’s officially coming home – and Peter Reid reckons England’s happy camp is giving them a winning edge.
Despite going into the World Cup with modest expectations, the Three Lions are now third favourites – behind France and Brazil – to lift the trophy on Sunday week.
And ahead of Tuesday night’s round-of-16 clash with Colombia, Reid – part of Paul Cook’s backroom staff at Wigan – says the mood in the camp generated by boss Gareth Southgate could take them all the way.
“I think Southgate’s handled it all very well,” Reid told the Wigan Post. “And when you look at the camp, it looks a very happy group.
“You look at the mass media now, but they seem to be handling it well. And I think that speaks volumes for the management and the way they’ve gone about their job.
“It’s starts getting interesting now...when it gets down to the nitty-gritty of the knockout stages.
“I know it’s a young squad, but it will grow as the games come and go.
“That experience of championship football is different to anything else, whatever anyone says.
“They’ve done really well up to now, but this is when it starts getting tough.”
Reid, who represented his country at Mexico 86, also points to five-goal Harry Kane as another major reason for optimism.
“To be perfectly honest, I’m just glad Harry Kane’s not taking corners, like he was during the last Euros,” he smiled.
“I just like my centre-forwards to be in the box!
“He’s come on so much, he looks so strong, and the thing I like about him...I know people will say his goals have been easy, but he was on the spot.
“Top strikers do that, they’re on the spot – and he is a top striker.”