England must reach semi-finals – Hurst

Jamie Vardy

It will be “extremely disappointing” if England do not reach at least the semi-finals at Euro 2016, says World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst.

England have not reached the last four since 1996 and face Russia, Slovakia and Wales in the group stage.

Roy Hodgson’s side were the only nation to qualify for the finals in France with a 100% winning record and beat Germany 3-2 on Saturday.

“We have got to get close to the semi-finals,” said former striker Hurst.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live’s Sportsweek, he added: “Anything less will be extremely disappointing for the squad, players and fans.

“We want to get through, a good performance in the quarter-finals, maybe losing on penalties.”

Vardy to be England’s star

Hurst believes Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy will make the biggest impact in France in the summer.

The 29-year-old, who has scored 19 goals for the Foxes this season, scored his first England goal in the win against Germany.

“He has come from nowhere. If you look at his background, performing like he is performing, he is a very good, level-headed guy. I like his performances and the way he plays, he is very intelligent. Playing for a smaller club, I think that would be fantastic and he deserves every chance he warrants.”

Hurst also praised the impact of Tottenham’s 19-year-old midfielder Dele Alli.

He added: “He has made an impact not only at club level but the games he has played for England. He is very exciting among a number of exciting young players we have.”

Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about England | BBC