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Southgate asked what England’s World Cup targets are

Gareth Southgate is getting closer to piecing together England’s “big jigsaw” ahead of the World Cup. Preparations for next summer have gone up a gear this week, with Friday’s encouraging 0-0 draw with holders Germany followed by the arrival of five-time champions Brazil on Tuesday. A string of injury setbacks changed Southgate’s “objectives” for this meet-up, but also offered the chance to give young talent a chance to prove their worth. The players appear to have adapted well to the situation and the three-man backline, giving Southgate food for thought as he whittles down his options ahead of the World Cup. “Well, I think we would be very close to the 23 in March but there’s obviously four or five players perhaps that aren’t with us through injury now,” the England boss said. “There might be some who are here now but might be in that same situation (out) in March, so I don’t think it can be as clear cut as that. “But, for sure, I think in our minds we’re getting closer. We’ve almost got a big jigsaw puzzle now we know how we want to play, what are the pieces that fit into it, who would be our preferred choices. “But, as I say, fitness and form can come into it.” The race is on for those injured or omitted to prove their worth to Southgate, with the squad shaping up to be hugely different to the last World Cup. Gone are proven, experienced performers like Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney, replaced by potential and fresh hope. “Clearly, it’s not ideal in terms of what you’d want for a major tournament in terms of how far you might progress and the lack of big game experience,” Southgate said. “However, I think it’s exciting. We’ve got a freshness about us, an energy about us, that people have enjoyed, we’re a young team. “There will be difficult nights, I’m sure, but we’ve got players we believe in. “It’s good to invest the time in and the only way for them to get experience is to play and if they are going to play then we might as well play top opposition so they really get a feel of what’s really required at international level to win and what they, and we as a team, might need to work on.” Asked what he would consider a successful World Cup next summer, Southgate added: “Well, my gauge of success would be that we come back from the tournament with the fans proud of how we’ve played and that means we’ll have played well and won some matches. “(On Friday) we left Wembley and people were excited by what they saw, enjoyed the game, that’s my desire as the manager to produce a team which sends people home feeling that way.” The post Southgate asked what England’s World Cup targets are appeared first on Football365....


Published By: Fottball 365 - Monday, 13 November, 2017

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