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Gareth Southgate challenges Jack Grealish to win England starting spot

Gareth Southgate challenged Jack Greish to work their way into their starting line-up after an impressive appearance in England’s Nations League tie in Germany.

The Three Lions saved a late point as Harry Kane scored his 50th senior international goal from the penalty spot to cancel out Jonas Hofmann’s opener.

Germany looked good for the win before Kane won and scored the kick that earned a 1-1 draw and prevented England from slips to back-to-back defeats in Group A3.

Kane, who becomes only the second man to reach half a century of England goals and sits just three behind Wayne Rooney’s record 53, will undoubtedly be in the headlines.

But Grealish helped change the momentum of the contest after replacing the ineffective Mason Mount with just 18 minutes remaining.

Half of Grealish’s 22 England caps have come as a substitute and he has completed just 90 minutes three times for his country.

We ask him if he sees the Manchester City man as an impact player or a starter, Southgate replied: “I think he can be both.

“If we didn’t trust him, we wouldn’t put him on the pitch with 20 minutes to play thinking he can make a difference.

“The start of the game, the challenge for wide players to attack, defend, try to score goals at a high tactical level and you have to be perfect.

“I think that’s an area where Jack can improve and what he’s done is carry the ball and at this point in the game there’s a little more space, a little more opportunities, and also this freshness.

“The impact he and Jarrod Bowen had was really big in those attacking areas. There’s a good challenge there, good competition for places and we have to keep pushing them.

Hofmann struck five minutes into the second half having already seen an effort ruled out for offside – with Thomas Muller also having a goal as the hosts often outplayed – and passed – the beaten finalists Euro 2020.

But Kane was deemed to have been triggered by Nico Schlotterbeck, the video assistant referee coming on to award England the penalty.

“The finish is outstanding, isn’t it? Southgate said of the resulting kick. “The pressure at that time, he trusts his technique. We have enormous confidence in him. I haven’t really watched the replay (of the decision).

“It seemed at the time that there had been an obstruction on him, at the very least. I guess the ref looked at it and decided that was the case.

“Rightly, the fact that he has 50 goals will be central to the story. But his all-around game, the way he led the line, the way he competed, the way he pressed from l before for us today was outstanding.

Southgate was pleased with the way England reacted to a nation he described on the eve of the match as a “benchmark” in international football.

“To respond the way they did was fantastic, I thought in the balance of the overall game it was well deserved,” he added.

“It’s an important sign for them as much as anything – of course for everyone else watching, but when you’re in a team, that group, with seven or eight still to get us to a Cup semi-final of the world that’s why these players are so important to us because that core of the team puts their bodies on the line for each other and on nights like this you have to do that to get a results.

“With the quality we had on display, we felt we had to raise the bar. We could see the game was there for us when we picked up the ball on the other side of their midfield, we were in business.

“In the second half we started a little slow due to a lack of possession. We weren’t aggressive enough with our pressing and conceded.

German coach Hansi Flick revealed he spoke to the officials about the late penalty award and said: “I don’t think Schlotterbeck even saw Kane coming.

“He was looking in a completely different direction. I spoke to the referee after the game and had a heated discussion, but it’s something you just have to smile and put up with – it’s a decision, period.

Gareth Southgate challenges Jack Grealish to win England starting spot

Source link Gareth Southgate challenges Jack Grealish to win England starting spot

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