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Southgate: England could look “very different” at Qatar World Cup


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areth Southgate has warned his England squad against complacency, saying the team could look “very different” at the Qatar World Cup next winter.

Southgate stuck with largely the same squad that reached the final of Euro 2020 for this month’s qualifying triple-header, and ten of the 11 who lined-up against Italy started the 4-0 win in Hungary and in Warsaw.

It was suggested to Southgate that he already has a settled squad for Qatar in 14 months’ time and he was asked what lessons England still had to learn.

He replied: “I think, without doubt, we’ve learned from all of the setbacks that we’ve had over the four years of being in charge and Wednesday night was a similar situation.

“What I would say is 14 months is a long time, so although this team has looked settled from the summer and into this camp that can look very different in 14 months’ time.

“There are young players emerging, there are players who are in a rhythm at the moment. We’ll be playing [the World Cup] in the middle of a season where injury [could be a factor].

“There’s only seven days between the last league game and the finals.

“So there’s a lot than can happen with the squad but first and foremost we’ve got to get next month right because given the points we dropped on Wednesday we’re still not not assured of our place [in Qatar] yet.”

AFP via Getty Images

Despite emphasising the importance of securing qualification in the remaining four matches, Southgate could opt to take a look a closer look at some young players in next month’s games against Andorra and Hungary.

Among the players on his radar are Arsenal’s Emile Smith-Rowe, Liverpool’s Harvey Elliott, Trevoh Chalobah of Chelsea and Tottenham midfielder Oliver Skipp, while the manager has already suggested that Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood can expect to return to the squad.


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