FIFA World Cup 2018: England manager Gareth Southgate to announce 23-man squad early to avoid anxiety
England manager Gareth Southgate plans to name his 23-man World Cup squad early to help avoid unnecessary anxiety among his players.
London: England manager Gareth Southgate plans to name his 23-man World Cup squad early to help avoid unnecessary anxiety among his players.
Tuesday's promising 1-1 draw in Italy was England's last match before Southgate names the travelling party for the 14 June -15 July finals in Russia.
Southgate has until 14 May to register a 35-man provisional squad with FIFA and needs to whittle it down to 23 by 4 June -- two days after England's next friendly, against Nigeria.
But the England boss will name his squad before the penultimate warm-up friendly, with the announcement expected shortly after the Premier League season ends on 13 May.
"I'd like to (name the squad before the next friendly) because you end up being able to run a performance camp rather than a selection camp," the England manager said. "I think there's a difference in the feel for everybody.
"If you name 28 and they aren't sure, but if you name 23 and five on standby -- which Sven (Goran Eriksson) did well, then everyone knows where they sit.
"If you have got 28 or 30 who think they might have a chance, then there's a lot of uncertainty and anxiety within the games," he added. "For me, it's much better to get the 23 secured and work from there."
Southgate already has a "pretty clear" idea about how he will fill 20 of the slots, and over the identity of his first-choice goalkeeper and skipper.
Everton 'keeper Jordan Pickford has perhaps edged ahead of Jack Butland while Harry Kane and Jordan Henderson are frontrunners for the captaincy.
Meanwhile, Adam Lallana is confident his fitness problems will not cost him a place in England's World Cup plans after an injury-blighted season.
The Liverpool midfielder, who made a second-half appearance against Italy, suffered a serious thigh injury in early August, reducing him to a bit-part role for his club this season.
But the 29-year-old is bullish about his prospects of making the 23-man squad, insisting he has sufficient credit in the bank despite his lack of match time.
"I'm confident enough in my own ability and what I bring to the squad," he said. "He (Southgate) recognises what I bring to the team, my team-mates recognise that and I recognise it also."
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
Premier League: Dominic Calvert-Lewin nets, James Rodriguez shines as Everton beat Tottenham; Leicester victorious
It was the first time Tottenham coach Jose Mourinho — who has previously managed Chelsea and Manchester United — has lost his opening match of a Premier League season, having been unable to sign a backup option to Kane.
UEFA Nations League matches should not have happened during pre-season of European leagues, says Gareth Southgate
Southgate's squad was hit by a raft of injuries and off-field problems after Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood were sent home on Monday after breaching coronavirus protocols following Saturday's 1-0 victory in Iceland.
Premier League: Harry Maguire to stay as Manchester United captain despite court case, says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Maguire was given a suspended 21-month sentence last month after the England defender was found guilty of assaulting a police officer, swearing, resisting arrest and bribery during an incident in Mykonos.