England boss Southgate defends Kane decision

England boss Southgate defends Kane decision

England boss Southgate defends Kane decision

England, who made nine changes to the starting line-up for the friendly in Leicester, allowed Switzerland to control the match in the first half but returned much sharper to secure the 1-0 win through forward Marcus Rashford's 54th-minute strike.

On England ending their losing run, Southgate added: "I have a feeling we might be sitting here next month talking about a fourth competitive defeat before the next match".

England manager Gareth Southgate has dismissed claims that Jose Mourinho undervalues Marcus Rashford. "He's had three days of little training, so half-an-hour was ideal to keep him ticking over".

The importance of holding on for a morale-boosting win for Southgate was shown as he introduced a host of regular starters, including captain Harry Kane off the bench for the final quarter.

Having had little time to impress in a Man United shirt this season, Rashford has taken the opportunity of the global break to remind English football fans of his talent.

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Southgate's preferred attack is Sterling in tandem with Kane but Rashford's precocity for England, including three goals in his past four worldwide starts, demands his inclusion.

Despite the injury, Alli managed to play all 90 minutes against Spain at the weekend but Southgate is not willing to risk him in the friendly against Switzerland. I think there is a welfare thing in terms of looking after players. Playing him for 30 minutes was no big issue. I think Harry at that age had hardly played anywhere near the matches for Spurs. "In the end, we are over the moon to keep a clean sheet and get back to winning ways. He's a huge admirer of him, but he's got his job to do", Southgate maintained.

"He's got huge competition for places at his club so you can understand that", Southgate said. Television footage of the players walking out onto the pitch was broadcast in black and white for 25 seconds to mark the 25th anniversary of the anti-racism campaign Kick It Out.

"We were trying to correct one or two things but also challenge them a bit, it was an important night for us to finish well and we knew it would be hard because of the changes and amount of game time, but I'm really pleased because the players have given everything this week".

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