Gutted - but England’s patriotic fans will be back for the next Euros showdown

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FOOTBALL fever gripped Portsmouth as fans packed out their local pubs to cheer on England in their opening tie of the Euros tournament.

The mood was electric as supporters sang and chanted in support of the Three Lions.

The flags came out and fans proudly wore their England shirts in the hope their passion would help inspire a win.

But in the end patriotic punters were left gutted after England squandered a late lead and allowed Russia to equalise in the final moments.

And many were bemused by Hodgson’s tactics as England appeared to fall asleep in the closing stages.

Yet fans haven’t given up hope of England churning out a strong performance against rivals Wales – and hope it won’t be another early exit from a big tournament.

At The Fleet pub, in Portsmouth’s city centre, fans were jubilant as the first half kicked in. England supporter Ashley Singleton and his friends led passionate chants.

Ashley said: ‘The Fleet is always the best place to watch England games, mainly due to the regulars who come in.

‘They create an amazing atmosphere.

‘It brings the country together and unifies us. It gives us a forged common interest.

‘I will continue to support my country, whether England end up going out or going on to win the tournament.’

Avid fan Richie Bennett said: ‘The atmosphere is great.

‘I’ve really enjoyed it.

‘I love England, and I like watching the rugby side as well.’

Publican Steve Hudson, who runs various venues including The Shepherd’s Crook and The Milton Arms, compared the atmosphere to a Pompey home game.

Steve said: ‘It was a cracking atmosphere and Dave Barrett warmed the crowd up.

‘It was vibrant and many compared it to a typical Pompey performance.’

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