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Stones urges England response in Germany after Hungary loss

John Stones says England’s Euro 2020 win over Germany “set the bar” as he challenged the Three Lions to respond in Munich after losing against Hungary.

England underwhelmed on Saturday at the Puskas Arena as Hungary won the Nations League opener 1-0 to record their first victory over the Three Lions since May 1962.

Meanwhile, Germany was held to a 1-1 draw by Italy in the other League A Group 3 game.

Hansi Flick’s side is next hosting England at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday.

England won the last meeting between the two sides 2-0 at Wembley Stadium last June in the last-16 at Euro 2020, with Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane proving the difference.

The Three Lions have not won consecutive games against Germany since a seven-game winning run between 1935 and 1966, the World Cup final’s last match.

Stones believes England must use its Euro 2020 triumph over Die Mannschaft to benchmark future performances.

Stones said at a pre-match news conference on Monday:

“I think everyone felt the same as us, the incredible stage we beat them on, the occasion.

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Stones urges England response in Germany after Hungary loss

“It was a big step for us as a team and nation.

“To progress to the latter stages of that tournament and show ourselves what we are capable of.

“We have set a marker and must be consistent with winning.

“We have set the bar. That’s the challenge for us as players now.

“The other day was a big learning curve for us.

“We have had an incredible run, and that stopped. So now it’s down to us how we bounce back, show our character and experience – what a game to do that in tomorrow.”

Stones’ Manchester City teammate Kevin De Bruyne was quick to criticise the Nations League for adding further strain to the footballing calendar.

However, Stones disagrees with the Belgium international as he expressed his pride in playing for his country on any occasion.

He added:

“You need always to be ready and fighting, the feeling in the camp.

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Stones urges England response in Germany after Hungary loss

“And the players are that we would play all year round.

“We know how important this period is, not many games leading up to the World Cup.

“Everyone is fighting for their place, trying to play well and create partnerships.

“To play for your nation and be called up…when I was out of the team, it hurt, so when you are here to play in big games like this, you can only cherish the moment and maximise the chances.

“I see this as a massive learning curve and a big step in the right direction to set us up for the World Cup.”

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