Cole Palmer reaction to Roy Keane praise says it all as Chelsea star sends message to Southgate

Cole Palmer responds to Roy Keane praise
-Credit: (Image: Hayters TV)

Cole Palmer's response to Roy Keane's recent commendation indicates Harry Kane was correct in his assertion that England's players are cognisant of the criticism they've received at Euro 2024.

The Three Lions were held to a second straight draw by Slovenia on Tuesday, playing out a goalless stalemate to cement top spot in Group C. Despite the general feeling of dissatisfaction surrounding another England display lacking in excitement, Chelsea ace Palmer's 20-minute appearance as a substitute was singled out by Keane as a beacon of hope.

The Manchester United legend praised the Blues star for his "X-factor" and called Palmer "an amazing player" whom he loves to watch in action. Keane added that Gareth Southgate will now be "under huge pressure" to include the Premier League's Young Player of the Season in the starting line-up for their round-of-16 fixture.

Palmer was clearly chuffed by Keane's comments and beamed from ear to ear when told about the pundit's praise. "It's always nice to hear, especially from someone like Roy Keane who played internationally and at Manchester United," said Palmer in response (via The Mirror). "It's up to the manager now what he wants to do. I'm full of belief. After the season I've had, I don't see why I should be down. I'll just try and take every chance and make an impact."

Keane's comments came amid palpable tension between the England squad and some of the country's most high-profile pundits, whose analysis has been predominantly pessimistic. Captain Kane defended his team following their 1-1 draw with Denmark, urging pundits to focus on the positives and "build the team up" after Gary Lineker described that performance as "s***."

The reaction from the England squad clearly shows they are tuned into the media's commentary on their performances - and that it is having an impact on them as shown by Palmer's response. Arsenal's Declan Rice echoed his skipper's sentiments and urged for a more positive outlook from those analysing their efforts.

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Speaking to ITV, he said: "I don't know why we feel like it [England's Euro 2024 performance] is such a negative thing. We're talking like we're going out of the tournament here. We are top of the group. We need to stay positive, stay upbeat. Let's have some positivity going into games. Let's give players the best confidence in the world."

West Ham star Jarrod Bowen also expressed his surprise at Lineker's comments and how explicit he was in his criticism. He went on to admit there's "only so much you want to read before you either end up replying or saying something you don't want to say."

Bowen, 27, then conceded it "can affect your mood" as a player hearing and reading those negative comments. England's more senior stars will be accustomed to such behaviour, but those less experienced members of the squad are sure to feel the pressure even more.

It's interesting that ex-Republic of Ireland international Keane was the one to break the cycle and provide something of a morale boost for Southgate's side. His reaction to Palmer's impressive introduction against Slovenia could signal the start of a more positive phase in England's Euro 2024 quest.