Gareth Southgate heaps praise on Manchester United duo Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard
According to Manchester Evening News, England manager Gareth Southgate has praised Manchester United duo Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford for their contributions to the Three Lions’ campaign at this summer’s Euros.
Yesterday’s win over Denmark marked England’s first appearance at a major final since the 1966 World Cup. They return to the same venue of their previous triumph this Sunday to take on Italy in the showpiece event.
Southgate was keen to stress the collective contribution to what has been an impressive effort by his squad. The England manager is keen to give every player their due despite the limited roles some may have played.
That is certainly the case regarding both Rashford and Lingard. The former has largely played a supporting role and is yet to make a single start in this tournament. With Raheem Sterling impressing, the chances of Rashford displacing him for the final are remote.
“The guys that were with us in Middlesbrough – Jesse, Prowsey, Ollie Watkins, Trent – they’ve all played a part in this and they’ve been immense in their acceptance of the different roles and the moments to come in.
“We’ve got some stars who haven’t had the amount of football they would want, the likes of Marcus Rashford who has just got on with things and accepted that at the moment he’s had to wait and be patient.”
Lingard meanwhile did not even make the roster for the tournament proper. The 28-year-old was a part of the 22-man extended squad but was dropped for the final cut. Despite their personal disappointments, Southgate believes that both players fulfilled their role when needed.
“They deserve this. They’ve been fantastic as a group, the way they’ve supported each other right the way through this period.”
While it is true that both Lingard and Rashford will be disappointed, they have both taken it in their stride. Perhaps what happened is for the better given Rashford’s injury record. The 23-year-old is coming off a taxing season and not being overplayed at the Euros should help him recover ahead of the new campaign.
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Lingard meanwhile continues to support England off the pitch. With the World Cup set to be held next year, it remains to be seen if the United star will have better luck getting chosen. If he continues to play as he did at West Ham United, it will be hard for Southgate to leave him out.
It has been a memorable tournament for United’s other England stars. Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire have enjoyed spectacular outings, earning rave reviews for their performances. Newboy Jadon Sancho has had limited game time, but could still leave a mark on the tournament in the final.