Southgate: Tight schedule creates challenging summer for England

With a short break between last season and this, as well as all tournaments having to be squeezed into a far tighter schedule, injuries have spiked.

Southgate names his squad for England’s World Cup qualifiers later this month on March 18 and is currently without Jordan Henderson, Joe Gomez and Danny Ings through injury.

“The tournaments are always at the end of a busy season,” Southgate told the Press Association.

“This has been slightly more intense by a couple of weeks and of course there wasn’t a bigger break at the end of last season.

“It has definitely been more challenging for everybody.

“But we have to make sure our schedule of training and the demands we ask on our players gives them the chance to psychologically refresh as well as make sure we are in the best physical condition.”

Uefa say they still intend to hold the tournament across 12 countries this summer, though final plans are set to be ratified next month. The uncertainty has provided another obstacle for Southgate.

“We have to keep making sure we are on track for our broader planning of hotels, training grounds, everything we do medically,” said the England boss.

“We are constantly having to review that, it is at least weekly. Things do change, but things change quickly for everybody at the moment.

“We have had to be adaptable, we will have to continue to be adaptable and I don’t see that changing. I feel like we are heading in a good direction and there is more enthusiasm and possibility of some fans in stadiums for certain matches and let’s hope we stay on track towards that goal.

“We have just got prepared to be whatever comes our way.”

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