Mason Mount says Denmark are coming into “the lion’s den” as England head back to a rocking Wembley for Wednesday’s mouth-watering Euro 2020 semi-final.
Having topped Group D and beaten Germany 2-0 in a mammoth last-16 tie, the Three Lions flourished as they headed on the road for the first and only time at this pan-European tournament.
Harry Kane scored twice in Saturday’s quarter-final against Ukraine in Rome, where Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson also found the net in a 4-0 victory that sealed their return to Wembley.
Having hosted around 20,000 for the group stage matches and more than 40,000 for the Germany triumph, the national stadium is braced for excess of 60,000 fans for Wednesday’s semi-final.
“It is unbelievable to play at Wembley and all our group games and the Germany game were special, special games to be involved in,” Mount said.
“I was on the bench and now it is a semi-final at Wembley and hopefully we can get to the final. That has always been our goal from the start and has been our focus.
“It will be a special day and there will be a few more fans there as well to create the atmosphere.
“You are in the lion’s den and you have to come and perform. We are obviously going to try and give our best.”
If the Wembley crowd gets anywhere near the levels reached against Germany then Denmark will be coming up against quite the atmosphere as well as a special team.
England have yet to concede on the way to their first Euros semi-final since 1996, three years on from falling at that hurdle at the World Cup in Russia.
Asked about what they have achieved, Mount said with a smile: “Something special.
“The gaffer said in the changing room then that it’s three semi-finals in three years so now our massive focus is to go further, is to go and win the game and then go into the final.
“We had a goal at the start of the tournament and we’re still pushing towards that. This is another step in the right direction.
“What a performance, there’s a lot of positives from the game, there’s stuff we can look at but it’s a special game but now we will look to the next one.”
England will be favourites with the bookmakers to win on Wednesday, but it should not be forgotten that Denmark are the last side to beat Southgate’s men on home soil.
They triumphed 1-0 at Wembley in October’s Nations League encounter on a night when Maguire was sent off, having drawn 0-0 in Copenhagen the previous month.
“We played them not long ago,” Mount said. “We know what they’re about so every game is going to be tough.
“You’re in a semi-final so you have to bring everything. Just like they will.
“They’ll be passionate, we have to be ready for the battle. That’s what we have to do now.
“We have to recover now, it was a hot game tonight, and we controlled it for bits of the game but it still takes a toll and we have to recover and be ready for the next game.”
Mount was among two changes on Saturday to the side that beat Germany, which he watched from the bench having only just returned from isolation with Ben Chilwell.
“It’s been frustrating,” he said of the time away from the group that followed his contact with Scotland’s Billy Gilmour, who tested positive for Covid-19.
“I’ve experienced something similar to that but, for me, and for Chilly as well, we had to stay strong, look at the bigger picture and focus on when we could come out of the isolation and what we can do and, as I said before, the goal of this whole tournament.
“We did that, we stayed strong and worked hard every day and for me to come out, play tonight and the performance we put on was brilliant. All that hard work we’ve been doing obviously pays off.”
– The comprehensive win over Ukraine was the most-watched live TV event of 2021, the BBC has said.
The network said the 4-0 rout pulled in a peak audience of 20.9million and 81.8 per cent of all available viewers.