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Southgate reveals ‘difficult’ choice

Gareth Southgate remains philosophical about the injury concerns hanging over the England camp as they prepare for the European Championships.

Southgate has named a provisional squad of 33 players – including 12 with two fewer England caps – most of whom have insurance against injuries in camp that look worse than feared.

Of the expected starters, only Jordan Pickford, Kyle Walker, Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham and Phil Foden have a clean bill of health, with many of their teammates missing weeks – in some cases, months – during the closing stages. the season.

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Southgate said: “Everyone has a chance. There are definitely players we wanted to see. The reason for the long group – we were in the same position before the last Euro – is that more time will come [help us] we made better decisions and we might get a better balanced team.

“There are obvious and obvious injury problems. There are some nuances that we don’t have all the information about. Sometimes you have to work with players and see how they react to training.

“This has been difficult as a team since I remember picking up, and we had a few difficult ones.

“We can make better decisions by giving ourselves more time – and we have time.”

Southgate admits it is a long shot for Manchester United defender Luke Shaw to make the final squad after another injury-hit season, although Newcastle United’s Kieran Trippier, who usually fills the left-back role, has also been ruled out until recently.

Southgate admitted: “There’s a lot to think about in the next few weeks. I would like it to be clean and clear but that is not the situation.

“We have never had so many unknown situations. We have had tournaments where we have taken players knowing that they will be back for a while. We are used to dealing with it.”

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England must bring their final squad of 26 players on the night of June 7 and Southgate said: “If we were to pick tomorrow, we could end up taking twelve defenders because we have a lot of questions.

“In a few weeks, hopefully we will have more clarity on many issues.”

With the likes of Adam Wharton, Curtis Jones, Jarell Quansah and Jarrad Branthwaite joining Ezri Konsa, Kobbie Mainoo, Anthony Gordon, Cole Palmer and Eberechi Eze in the squad, only five have more than 50 caps – Pickford, -Harry Maguire. , John Stones, Walker and Harry Kane.

“Obviously, you’d like to have experienced players,” Southgate admitted. “It is still possible that we can play the way we would have.

“We need to see some young guys. They have good seasons, we can learn more about them. We feel they are the best players right now to fulfill the roles we are talking about.”

One of the biggest points of discussion was how to fit stars like Foden, Bukayo Saka, Bellingham and Palmer into the same team behind Kane.

Many expect Foden to be asked to play on the left – not the one he filled for Manchester City, winning the Premier League Player of the Season last week.

Southgate said: “Phil played on the right, on the left. The key with Phil is where he ends up, not where he starts. He was allowed to drift to Man City.

“It’s about where these players come from and whether they’re allowed to flood, that’s what’s important. Players will tell you that we never put them on the phone.

“There is this freedom. You want Phil in those middle places, as you do in one or two. We have to find the best way to make that happen.”

Given the wealth of talent – especially in attack – at their disposal, England are among the favorites for glory this summer.

“There’s no doubt what can happen,” admitted Southgate. “The team has been very close in the past, so they know what can happen. You have to do it game by game.”

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