Sunday, 22 July, 2018

England captain full of praise for Southgate's impact on squad

Jamie Carragher Jamie Carragher
Domingo Copeland | 23 June, 2018, 06:50

Manchester City star Raheem Sterling could find himself dropped for England's World Cup clash with Panama on Sunday if a snapshot of Gareth Southgate's notebook from Wednesday's training session is a true indication of the manager's plans for the game.

The midfielder picked up a thigh injury during England's World Cup opener against Tunisia, and did not train with the rest of the squad on Friday.

The coach was treated in a nearby hospital and admitted afterwards that he will have to control his behaviour during his side's coming games.

Gareth Southgate's side beat Tunisia 2-1 in their opening game but missed a series of first-half chances and needed a stoppage-time victor from captain Harry Kane to secure the three points.

England needs to be more clinical if they are to take care of Panama in their second game in Group G and put themselves on the brink of qualification to the knockout stage.

"So, we're not going to be wildly different to that".

Harry Kane was the hero scoring twice, with the victor coming in extra time.

The England manager took training at Spartak Zelenogorsk on Thursday, despite the discomfort of a dislocated shoulder.

Maguire, Stones and Kane, in particular, offer an aerial threat at set-pieces which England believe they can fully exploit.

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Speaking to BBC One after the Tunisia win, Kane said: "We have shown resilience for a while now since the gaffer come in".

Perhaps more so than in Belgium, Panama's first opponents, the English game allows for a little bit more toughening up over the years.

"We have got such a great support team and they were there very quickly".

Southgate said the teamsheet was "just a squad list", and "it doesn't bother me in the slightest".

It meant he would be the first player to be asked about "Hollandgate" and the fact that England's team to face Panama appeared to be public knowledge.

"The other night was a good test for us heat-wise".

But he added: "Obviously any time, if we were to give the opposition the opportunity of having our team it's a disadvantage to us".

"I don't know the team, none of the lads know the team, so we can't read too much into it".

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