England defender John Stones admits he was happy not to chase a World Cup hat-trick

Tuesday 26 Jun 2018
John Stones bagged a brace against Panama in Sunday's World Cup win over Panama

England's John Stones admits the thought of taking the ball off Harry Kane to complete a World Cup hat-trick never entered his mind.

The defender scored twice in the first half against Panama as the Three Lions clocked up a 6-1 victory in Nizhny Novgorod.

England v Belgium
  • FIFA 2018 World Cup
  • 7pm, Thursday 28 June 2018
  • Kaliningrad, Russia
  • Live on ITV

When England were awarded a second penalty of the game in the early stages of the second half, Kane stepped up to complete England’s scoring for the day.

And Manchester City man Stones laughed off claims that he should’ve asked the captain for the chance to score from the spot himself to seal an unlikely treble.

"I didn't even think to go and get the ball, I was just happy to win,” said Stones, who spoke to Lions’ Den presenter Craig Mitch during the team’s recovery session in Repino.

"As stupid as it sounds, I could've scored a penalty but Harry takes them so I didn't want to take it off him.

"I would've had a go if he'd offered it, but to score two was enough for me. I only scored three goals in the whole of last season.

"It was a good result, we didn't expect it and to get two goals, I didn’t expect that.

"I never even thought I'd play in a World Cup, so to score in one, it's unbelievable.”

Stones scores his second goal from close range against Panama


With progress to the round of 16 secured after Sunday’s victory, England are now preparing for Thursday’s clash with Belgium in Kaliningrad.

After both nations collected two wins from their first two games in the group, they know they’ll be in the knock-out stages so the match will decide who finishes first and second in the table.

But the former Barnsley and Everton player says England are only focused on a positive result to seal top spot.

"We've got to keep that winning mentality going, look to win the game,” he added.

"If you're going into a game thinking of taking a draw, it's going to end badly.

"We want to be seen as winners and to keep winning. Whoever we get [in the next round], we get.”

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By FA Staff