England’s Phil Jones says squad cannot wait for opening World Cup game


England defender Phil Jones says the squad have a tight bond and are excited for their first World Cup match

England defender Phil Jones says he and his team-mates have a ‘tight bond’ and they cannot wait for their first World Cup game against Tunisia.

Gareth Southgate’s side were drawn in Group G with their Monday night opponents as well as Belgium and Panama.

Having to wait until Monday, four days after the World Cup began, has Jones admitting the England team are itching to get their campaign underway.

“Watching the game [Russia v Saudi Arabia] the other night it was great for the tournament to get started and get going but we just have itchy feet now waiting for our game on Monday night,” he told Sky Sports News.

The national team has faced criticism in the past for the squad being too divisive and being segregated in different groups, however, things seems to have changed this time around.

1:12 Gary Neville says the World Cup is the ultimate test of a footballer but hopes England's 3-5-2 formation can help them improve on recent efforts

England have named the third youngest squad at this year’s tournament and with this seems to have brought a unity within the team and a new-found relationship with the media.

“We all have a tight bond,” Jones added. “We eat together, we all mingle together and there is a real good feel factor about the place.

0:49 Ruben Loftus-Cheek says the England players have not been told who is starting against Tunisia on Monday but he is preparing to give his all if called upon

“It is a positive [the relationship with the media]. I think it is a more relaxed environment for the players to come into. Come into the Lions Den, it’s open, it’s free.

“It’s better for the media and it suits all parties. It is also great for the fans as they see more of an insight into what we do and how these things go down. It is good for them.”