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'Southgate critics don't know what they're talking about!' - England manager is a great tactician, insists Foden

14:56 BST 21/06/2021
Gareth Southgate England Scotland Euro 2020
The Manchester City midfielder has jumped to the defence of his international coach amid question marks over his set-up

Critics of Gareth Southgate "don't know what they're talking about" according to Phil Foden, who has insisted the England manager is a great tactician.

England have so far failed to live up to their favourites billing at the European Championships, securing a narrow win against Croatia before being held to a 0-0 draw by Scotland.

Southgate's selection policy has been the subject of much debate since that result at Wembley with suggestions that the 50-year-old is holding back the potential of a talented squad, but Foden has jumped to his defence.

What's been said?

Highly-rated Aston Villa playmaker Jack Grealish is still awaiting his first start at the Euros, while Borussia Dortmund talisman Jadon Sancho has yet to see a single minute of action, but a man currently in favour with Southgate completely trusts his judgement.

“He’s a great coach and working with him every day I get to see what he’s like," Manchester City midfielder Foden told talkSPORT. "He always has the players’ backs and I believe that his tactics are great.

“All these negative people don’t know what they’re talking about because Gareth’s a great coach. In training all the technical players like me and Jack so if I get the opportunity to play with him that’s up to Gareth really.

“Everyone trains very well every day and whatever team he selects we’re going to trust and back. Everyone plays differently, that’s the depth we have in the squad. Everyone has different qualities.

“Jadon [Sancho], he loves one vs one situations, I’m more of a player who comes inside and tries to link the play and Gareth tries to pick the best XI for the team. Whatever we need in the next game he’s going to pick the right players.”

The bigger picture

Foden's comments will likely do little to ease the pressure on Southgate ahead of England's final Group D fixture against the Czech Republic on Tuesday night.

The Three Lions must avoid defeat at Wembley to make certain of a place in the round of 16, and will be expected to produce a much-improved display after mustering just one shot on target against the Scots.

Calls for Grealish to be drafted into the starting XI will likely increase before kick-off, and Southgate has already revealed that Sancho is "in the mix" to feature after impressing in training.

Raheem Sterling could be the man to make way for Sancho if he gets the nod, but the England boss will be keeping faith with captain Harry Kane.

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