Southgate: England must embrace pressure of expectation


That they are now preparing to face Tunisia in England's opening game in Group G on Tuesday marks a remarkably rapid rise but their ascent is not unique, nor even the steepest, in Gareth Southgate's youthful squad.

"I saw the game on Saturday night and they were good, but every team at the World Cup is a good team", said Young.

He has made courageous selection decisions - dropping Wayne Rooney, for starters - and has implemented a bold approach that has seen the team adopt a three-man defense and play the ball out from the back as much as possible.

The Daily Mail claim that Ashley Young has been preferred to Danny Rose in the left wing-back role during drills at England's training facility in Zelenogorsk with Southgate not convinced the Spurs player is fit and sharp enough to start in 30 degree heat.

"Sometimes that is not the outcome but, on the day, as long as you are a team and you work hard, embrace the moment, play free and enjoy the football..." With the Three Lions keen to win the ball ahead of the half-way line, and using Sterling, Kane, Lingard and Dele Alli's ruthlessness on the counter may reduce the chance of being dragged into midfield battles with likely knockout opposition, Poland and Germany.

Manchester City duo John Stones and Kyle Walker were also sat together for the flight to Russian Federation.

There is also gratitude towards Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho off the back of his best season to date.

England are chomping at the bit to get started after days of watching other World Cup games and hoping to kick-off a major tournament with a win for the first time since the 2006 World Cup.

"They have good squads but good squads don't always make good teams", he added.

"As a kid you want to play in the biggest tournaments and I am as excited as anyone out there".

They have some talent, have a real desire and determination to play for England.

'In this team I see a lot of attacking players who score a lot of goals and have had great seasons for their clubs.

"We are hopeful players and family will get an opportunity to go into St Petersburg when we are not working".