Rashford to miss England training

Rashford to miss England training

Rashford to miss England training

"We're pleased with how preparation has gone up until now", England manager Southgate said.

The 20-year-old's hopes suffered a setback after he missed England's first training session in Russian Federation with a slight knee injury, but on Wednesday evening he assured fans the problem was nothing serious.

Southgate has made a big issue of winning back the hearts and minds of the country during his time in the job and believes his young, eager side are well on the way to achieving that aim.

"The past can inform us and help us but shouldn't shape us".

In fact, there was more ignominy to come with the freaky 67-day stewardship of Sam Allardyce, who departed after a newspaper sting, before current manager Gareth Southgate was promoted from the under-21 team.

Fast forward to 2018 and it is the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Lionel Messi who will hope to steal the show and embed their names into World Cup history, whilst England's Harry Kane will hope to lead by example for his country after a poor Euro 2016 campaign.

"When you come into the squad, you're welcomed with open arms". Danny Welbeck and Raheem Sterling averaged around 7km per game, however, the former never played the full 90 minutes and Manchester City's Sterling only completed the 90 minutes once.

Expectations are mixed for Southgate's squad.

England are all set to compete with Belgium, Tunisia and Panama in Group G of the World Cup. A mix of youthful talent and worldwide experience could breed a surprise campaign for England.

Southgate is encouraging his players to dream big.

'Why would I limit what they feel is possible?' the England manager said. They are at an age with hunger, enthusiasm.

"But I always look at my game and see how I can get better".

As a former England Under-21 manager, Southgate relies on numerous techniques which have brought success at youth levels. They have some talent, have a real desire and determination to play for England. Even the 47-year-old manager has dug out one of his 12-year-old self from 1982.

"He's not too bad, I don't think", the Liverpool captain said.

"I said to all of the team before the game "I expect to see mistakes tonight and if I don't there'd probably be a problem because we won't be trying to be as good as we might".

"They have a voice".

They do so in good spirits, with inter-camp harmony at a peak, no injuries to speak of and a pair of quietly encouraging friendly wins over Nigeria and Costa Rica to reflect on.

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