Gareth Southgate plays down Mason Mount injury fears and says England are ‘well prepared’ for Poland

The Three Lions face a tougher test than in their two opening qualifiers but will be aiming for another three points

Karl Matchett
Tuesday 30 March 2021 18:29
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<p>The Chelsea attacker is fit and ready if called upon by England</p>

The Chelsea attacker is fit and ready if called upon by England

Gareth Southgate says England have a full squad available for the World Cup qualifier against Poland on Wednesday, playing down fears that Mason Mount would miss out.

The Chelsea attacker did some indoor work alone on Tuesday while the main group were outside, but the manager clarified that although Mount didn’t take part in the warm-up with the squad, he did join in the remainder of the session.

As such, he should be ready to play if required - though Southgate pointed out in his pre-game press conference that the approach taken with all the players throughout the past week or so had been purposely mindful of the demands of coping with three fixtures during the international break.

“They are all available as far as we’re concerned. We’ve managed them not just in matches but in training sessions and we’ve got to balance freshness tomorrow,” he told reporters.

“Around Europe most countries have taken a similar slant on the games - we’ve got to look at the best team to win and we’re well prepared for it.”

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Another of England’s key attackers, Harry Kane, has been making headlines with some on the outside suggesting it will soon be time for him to depart Tottenham Hotspur.

Asked whether that might impact the concentration levels of the captain, Southgate dismissed any concerns and insisted that Kane remains upbeat about his club-level fortunes.

“He is so focused. I had a chat with him and he’s very positive about the club, he’s talking about being a couple of points off the Champions League places and in the League Cup final.

“I’ve got no worries about Harry Kane, he’s a fantastic professional and his focus is always on the next training session, the next match and he can put anything to one side.”

Southgate also rejected the notion that England would be boosted by the absence of Poland’s main striker Robert Lewandowski, who will be out injured for the next month.

Opposite number Paulo Sousa, who has guided the Poles to four points from their opening two qualifiers this week, still has several big-name attacking options to choose from, despite the absence of the Bayern Munich front man.

“From our perspective, you’re going to have players who are hungry to fill the opportunity: [Arkadiusz] Milik, [Krzysztof] Piatek.

“They are a proud country, a good football team and they’ve got motivation. It’s a key game in the group and we’ve got to keep stepping up.”

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