Peter Shilton admits it is “strange” to see all the hype surrounding England after they reached their first World Cup semi-final in 28 years.
England defeated Sweden 2-0 on Saturday and will face Croatia, who eliminated Russia on penalties later in the day, in Moscow on June 11 in an attempt to reach their first final since tasting glory in 1966.
Shilton was goalkeeper in 1990 – the last time England got to the last four – and has praised Gareth Southgate for showing his players videos on social media of fans celebrating back home.
“It’s quite strange for me to witness all the hype and all the crowds with how excited they are,” he told Sky Sports. “That is what it must have been like in Italia 90 when we got to the semi-final.
“We did not know about it and didn’t experience it. I think Southgate is letting the players see one or two clips of the fans.
“That’s good because it wasn’t until we got home we realised the enormity of what we had achieved. I think it’s good the players understand it’s good for the country.”
England lost the 1990 semi-final on penalties to West Germany and Shilton has urged the squad to remain focused this time around.
“When you make the final four the mood does not change, you know you are getting very close to the final.
“You have to stay focused. One thing that has come across with this squad is they have kept their feet on the floor, no-one is getting too excited.
“They are very pleased to get there – I think that is the right approach.”
If England defeat Croatia in the semi-final, they will come up against either Belgium or 1998 champions France in the final on July 15.