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Declan Rice insists England don’t get “the credit we deserve” after finishing top of their group

Declan Rice insists England don’t get ‘the credit we deserve’ after finishing top of their group in a World Cup with ‘many surprises’… as the Three Lions star claims he is ‘ready’ to level up in the knockout rounds

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Declan Rice has claimed that England have not been given enough credit for advancing through their group relatively easily at the World Cup.

England got off to a great start in Qatar by beating Iran 6-2 in their opener, but then the USA drew 0-0, drawing criticism from fans.

They rallied to crush Wales 3-0, securing their place in the round of 16 as group winners, and Rice believes the team deserves praise for navigating the opening stage of the tournament with a minimum of fuss, while other nations such as Argentina and Germany have slid to surprise defeats.

England finished top of their group to progress to the round of 16 with relative ease in Qatar

England finished top of their group to progress to the round of 16 with relative ease in Qatar

Declan Rice believes the team deserves more credit for navigating their group with ease.

Declan Rice believes the team deserves more credit for navigating their group with ease.

Declan Rice believes the team deserves more credit for navigating their group with ease.

‘There have been many surprises in this tournament. You can’t take anything for granted,’ Rice said at a news conference on Thursday.

‘That’s why we’re doing so well. We are not getting the credit we deserve. It could have been a banana skin for us in any of our three games, but we did well in all of them.

‘You are watching great nations lose. We have never been in a situation where we felt under pressure. We have always felt in control of our group.’

Senegal awaits England in the first knockout round after finishing second in Group A.

After losing their opening game against the Netherlands, Senegal beat Qatar and Ecuador and are expected to provide England with their toughest test to date.

Rice has insisted that he is 'ready' to improve his game as the tournament in Qatar progresses.

Rice has insisted that he is 'ready' to improve his game as the tournament in Qatar progresses.

Rice has insisted that he is ‘ready’ to improve his game as the tournament in Qatar progresses.

Rice is relishing the prospect of playing World Cup knockout soccer for the first time, and has leaned on herself to improve her game as the pressure mounts.

“When you play against bigger teams, your level starts to rise,” he continued.

‘They are the biggest games you want to play and they are the games that are remembered forever. And when that time comes, I’ll be ready.