Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Southgate to name World Cup squad early to avoid anxiety

Southgate to name World Cup squad early to avoid anxiety

England manager Gareth Southgate attends a press conference on Monday ahead of Tuesday's friendly with Italy. AFP
England manager Gareth Southgate attends a press conference on Monday ahead of Tuesday's friendly with Italy. AFP

Southgate to name World Cup 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.

Tuesday’s promising 1-1 draw in Italy was England’s last match before Southgate names the travelling party for the June 14-July 15 finals in Russia.

Southgate has until May 14 to register a 35-man provisional squad with FIFA and needs to whittle it down to 23 by June 4 – 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 May 13.

“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. “[Southgate] recognises what I bring to the team, my tea-mates recognise that and I recognise it also.”

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,