Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Gascoigne 'offered to play' against Switzerland - Southgate

Harry Maguire GETTY Man Utd are no longer targeting Harry Maguire after he penned a new deal with Leicester
Domingo Copeland | 13 September, 2018, 13:16

After an exciting summer of World Cup action and a creditable narrow defeat to Spain in their opening UEFA Nations League game over the weekend, "dull global friendly" service resumed for Gareth Southgate's England as they took on Switzerland at the King Power Stadium.

Southgate, however, did say Alli would be fit enough to play a part in Tottenham Hotspur's vital game with Liverpool FC at the weekend.

However, he is now making it clear that the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, with 33 minutes for Chelsea this season, and Fabian Delph, who has not featured at all for City, might have to be excluded if they do not start playing more regularly before the game in Rijeka on 12 October and, three days later, at the Estadio Benito Villamarín in Seville.

The importance of holding on for a morale-boosting win for Southgate was shown as he introduced a host of regular starters, including captain Harry Kane off the bench for the final quarter.

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Not surprisingly the upheaval resulted in what Danny Rose described as an "embarrassing" first-half display as the players struggled to find their rhythm. "We think it is important to keep encouraging him to keep running in behind teams with the pace he's got as well".

"Yes he is (a special talent)", Southgate said of Rashford after seeing him score the only goal in Tuesday's friendly win over Switzerland.

Three Lions striker Marcus Rashford seems to have hit some form in the past week, finding the back of the net against Spain and Switzerland and taking his global goals tally to five. "He's got huge competition for places at his club, so you can understand [his frustration]".

'We really wanted to make Marcus feel important over this period, ' added Southgate. It was his second goal in two games for the England team. It was going to be tough mentally to switch back from the World Cup to these games, physically for all the players, and with two tough games to play. "José [Mourinho] thinks the world of Marcus - he's a huge admirer of him - but he has his job to do". He still got goals but he's never quite looked like the Harry Kane we know. Television footage of the players walking out onto the pitch was broadcast in black and white for 25 seconds to mark the 25th anniversary of the anti-racism campaign Kick It Out.

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