Euro 2016 disqualification would be ‘devastating’, says Lallana

Date published: Tuesday 14th June 2016 1:11

Adam Lallana: Declared fit

Adam Lallana admits it would be “devastating” for England if they were kicked out of Euro 2016 over crowd trouble.

UEFA has hit Russia with a suspended disqualification from the tournament following the ugly scenes during the match with England on Saturday, meaning they will be sent home if there is any more violence in the stands caused by their fans.

Europe’s governing body initially threatened England with the same sanction, although the Football Association has not been formally charged like the Russian Football Union.

FA chairman Greg Dyke has voiced his fears over security arrangements for Thursday’s match against Wales, and midfielder Lallana is praying there is no more trouble.

“It would be devastating,” he told a press conference.

“Our message is for everyone to be safe and sensible. By all means enjoy the match, but be respectful that we are out there.”

Lallana did not witness the scenes in the stands following the 1-1 draw at the Stade Velodrome, but pictures showed England goalkeeper Joe Hart clearly concerned at what he was seeing.

Liverpool’s Lallana admitted the violence had been discussed among the England players, but vowed to focus on events on the pitch in Thursday’s pivotal Group B encounter.

“A little bit has been discussed,” he added. “I didn’t see it – I heard what Joe saw but I was getting a drugs test – and it’s not nice to see.

“We’ve just got to hope the security is there and trust everyone to do their job.

“I’ve got friends and family coming to the game but I trust everyone to be sensible and safe. It’s a big game and I’ve got to focus on my job and hopefully everyone can do their job off the field.

“I’m not concerned it will be a distraction.”

Turning to the football, Lallana is confident England can kickstart their campaign in Lens following the disappointment of conceding a late equaliser against the Russians.

The 28-year-old will be coming up against a familiar face, Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale, with whom he came through the ranks as a youngster at Southampton.

“Obviously I played with Gareth growing up, he’s a great talent with great ability and it’s credit to him how hard he has worked and now he’s at the top” said Lallana.

“But Wales have lots of talented players so it’s not just Gareth we have to concentrate on. Joe Allen was man of the match the other day, and obviously Aaron Ramsey.

“Is he one of the top five players in the world right now? Yes. He’s a good friend of mine and a very good player, we all know that. But we can’t focus on Gareth, that would be naive.

“For us we are focusing on ourselves. We have to respect Wales’ strengths, and look at their weaknesses, but if we play like we did the night we have a great chance of winning any game we play.”

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