Gareth Southgate challenges Jack Grealish to push for England starting spot

Midfielder helps turn tie around against Germany as Kane's penalty seals 1-1 draw in Nations League

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Gareth Southgate has challenged Jack Grealish to force his way into his starting line-up after an impressive cameo in England’s Uefa Nations League draw against Germany.

Harry Kane's late penalty - his 50th international goal - rescued a point for England, helping them avoid successive defeats in Group A3 after Jonas Hofmann had put the hosts ahead with a superb strike.

And while Tottenham striker Kane grabs the headlines, Southgate was quick to highlight Grealish's impact after his introduction for the ineffectual Mason Mount with18 minutes remaining shifted momentum in England's favour.

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

Asked 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 go in the belief he can make a difference.

“The start of the game, the challenge to the wide players to attack, defend, try to score goals at a high tactical level and you’ve got to be spot on.

“I think that’s an area Jack can get better at and what he did do was carry the ball and at that moment of the game as it opens up there’s a little more space, a little more opportunity, and also that freshness.

“The impact that he and Jarrod Bowen had was really important in those attacking areas. There is a good challenge there, good competition for places and we’ve got to keep pushing them.”

The result leaves Germany in third place in the group on two points, and coach Hansi Flick revealed he spoke to the officials about the award of the late penalty, and said: “I think [Nico] Schlotterbeck didn’t even see Kane coming.

“He was watching in a completely different direction. I spoke to the referee after the game and had a lively discussion but it is something you just have to grin and bear it – it is a decision, full stop.”

Germany v England ratings

Updated: June 08, 2022, 6:48 AM
NEWSLETTERS
MORE FROM THE NATIONAL