Nigel Pearson makes England World Cup assessment as he hails Gareth Southgate

England have a World Cup quarter-final whilst Bristol City are away at Rotherham United
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Bristol City manager Nigel Pearson has believes England have a realistic chance of World Cup glory and has hailed the 'outstanding' Gareth Southgate. The Three Lions are preparing for their quarter-final with 2018 winners France at the Al Bayt Stadium.

England topped their groups with convincing wins over Iran and Wales, and overcame Famara Diedhiou's Senegal in the Round of 16 to reach the final eight of the competition. If Southgate's men were to overcome France, they would match what they did in Russia, where they would hope to go one better after losing to Croatia.

Since Southgate succeeded Sam Allardyce as manager, he has led England to a semi-final at the World Cup, and was just a penalty shootout away from glory at EURO 2020. The former Middlesbrough boss has overseen a change in dynamic in the squad with experienced stars flushed out for the likes of Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden and Marcus Rashford.

“Yes, we’ve got a good chance,” Pearson responded when asked about England being successful in Qatar. “I think England have performed very well. "I don’t buy into this up-and-down mentality. We got through comfortably and the squad seems in good physical shape.

“To win tournaments you need to make sure you peak at the right time. There have been plenty of tournaments in the past where England haven’t done that because we’ve been useless at tournament football.

“I think Gareth’s record is outstanding and I think his calmness in how he reflects on performances is something which is very visible with the team. We’ve got as good a chance as anybody.”

Wales were in the same group as England and played in their first World Cup since 1958. The Red Dragons had qualified for EURO 2016 and EURO 2020, but a place on world football's biggest stage had alluded them for 64-years.

Rob Page's side however finished bottom and failed to win a game scoring just once in their three group stage matches. Gareth Bale scored a penalty against the United States in their opener, but drew blanks against Iran and the old-enemy England.

Andy King, who was part of the Wales side that reached the semi-finals of EURO 2016 - and were pictured celebrating England's elimination after losing to Iceland, explained that the aging Bale, would have been a factor in why they weren't as successful this time around.

"Disappointing, to be honest,” King said. "It was probably a step up, more so than what that group has been used to. They hadn’t been in great form going into the tournament but with Wales, they stick and hang in there and can produce in the big moments and maybe that just didn’t happen.

He added: “It’s going to be hard when your talisman is getting a bit older and he can’t produce just as regularly as he did but for Wales to be on the World Cup stage, I think that’s what people need to remember; a nation of that size, just to be competing on that level, we would have taken that 20-30 years ago."

"Even 10 years ago, we were ranked 110th in the world, so a few major tournaments on the spin and I’m sure some of the younger lads will be better for the experience and they can use it to try and go again. But, knowing the lads, I’m sure they were delighted to fly out there but maybe a bit disappointed flying back.”