Ollie Watkins reveals prediction with Cole Palmer 'manifested' heroic England winner past Netherlands

Ollie Watkins reveals prediction with Cole Palmer 'manifested' heroic England winner past Netherlands

England hero Ollie Watkins says he "manifested" his 90th-winner against the Netherlands after a conversation with fellow substitute Cole Palmer at half-time.

Watkins wrote himself into English football history with a brilliant stoppage-time goal as Gareth Southgate's came from behind to beat the Netherlands 2-1 and set up a Euro 2024 final against Spain in Berlin on Sunday.

The Aston Villa striker collected Palmer's pass and fired through the legs of Stefan de Vrij and inside the far post, ten minutes after the pair had been introduced by Southgate for Harry Kane and Phil Foden.

"I said to Cole that we were both going to go on the pitch and that he was going to set me up at half-time. It happened. I manifested it," said Watkins.

"As soon as he turned, I knew to make the move. You don't get that opportunity often, so I had to be greedy, I had to take it. I've just seen it go into the bottom corner, I don't think I've hit a ball that sweet before, obviously in such a special moment as well.

"I'm lost for words really. I was just trying to describe it. When you score, there's emotions that run through your body but this is just a different feeling, it was slow motion when I was running towards the boys and celebrating.

"I didn't want to get off the pitch, I just wanted to soak it all in because it doesn't happen often obviously."

Watkins has not played since coming on as a late substitute in the group game against Denmark and appeared to have fallen behind Ivan Toney in the battle to be Kane's understudy in Germany.

He admitted he was "frustrated" by his lack of minutes but says he always knew he could make a difference from the bench.

"To be honest, recently I've obviously got frustrated, I don't like to be on the bench, I've had the best season of my career," he said.

"I've had messages from my friends just saying, ‘Be patient’. I'm going to get an opportunity and they feel like I've got a big part to play at the tournament.

"The amount of people that have messaged me today saying I'm going to score tonight when I came on was ridiculous. They've put it out in the universe so hopefully they can do the same for the final or even give me the lottery numbers!

"I didn't dream about that to be honest. I can't lie and say I've dreamed about that. Obviously scoring for England is amazing, but I didn't think I'd be doing it in a tournament like that. Don't get me wrong, when I've been on the bench I've definitely said to Dean Henderson I can make a difference today, I need to get on that pitch. I've taken my chance when I've got on and scored. Now we're in the final, one last game."

Less than a decade ago, Watkins was on loan from Exeter at Weston-super-Mare in the National League and he says he never imagined such a moment.

"I never thought I'd be playing in the Euros for England," he said.

"Obviously you can dream but I'm a realist and I just take it day by day, one step at a time, and I was just focused on getting back in the first-team at Exeter.

"I've not thought about that, I've put in a lot of hard work to get to this point, it's not just this season, it's cumulative. And I'm going to enjoy every moment."

England face Spain in Berlin's Olympic Stadium in a first final on foreign soil for a chance to finally end 58 years of hurt.

Watkins said: "Spain are a great footballing team. So many good players, a lot of squad depth like ourselves, experience. It's the most important game of our lives. We're fully focused on that. We're just going to try and enjoy tonight and tomorrow we focus on Spain."