SOUTHEND United manager Chris Powell believes England will never have a better chance of repeating their 1966 World Cup glory.

Powell - who won five caps for England during his own playing career - lined up alongside Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate while at Crystal Palace.

And Powell is confident his former team-mate can lead England to glory in tomorrow’s quarter-final clash against Sweden.

“We will never get a better chance and it’s our equivalent of what Leicester City did when winning the Premier League,” said Powell.

“They had the right teams at the right time and it’s happening with us.

“But I definitely think we can beat Sweden.”

England saw off Colombia on penalties in a dramatic second round clash earlier this week.

And Powell is thrilled to see Southgate doing so well after swapping text messages with him on the eve of England’s opening game.

“Two and a half hours before the first match I realised I hadn’t sent Gareth a message so I sent one wishing him well, thinking he would pick it up when he next had his phone,” said Powell.

“But he text me back within five minutes saying ‘it’s a long way from Mitcham, thank you’.

“That was where we trained with Palace and I just thought that was typical of him.

“Everyone is seeing that personality now and I’m really pleased and proud of him.”

But Powell - who has been friends with Southgate for more than 30 years - has not been surprised by his success.

“I always felt he had the right manner and background to do the job,” said Powell.

“Going from club management into international management is a big jump and sometimes you can’t handle it.

“But he’s been part of the FA and the revamp of our young teams which has been great.”