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Gareth Southgate explains his reluctance to play Jadon Sancho

Gareth Southgate Jadon Sancho

Gareth Southgate has insisted he is being realistic over the expectations put on Jadon Sancho due to his young age and inexperience.

England have struggled to threaten opposing defences so far at Euro 2020, managing just three shots on target from their two games against Croatia and Scotland.

Many fans and pundits have called for England manager Southgate to make a number of changes in his team selection, after a disappointing display against the Scots at Wembley.

Gareth Southgate on Jadon Sancho.

England have no shortage of exciting players who have had limited opportunities at this year’s European Championship, with the likes of Jack Grealish and Sancho yet to play at all in the tournament.

Sancho, 21, has scored 16 goals for Borussia Dortmund across all competitions last season but is still waiting to make his first appearance at Euro 2020.

Southgate was speaking at a press conference ahead of England’s last group stage match against the Czech Republic on Tuesday and explained his ‘realistic expectations’ in regards to Sancho.

“We’ve got some explosive options and a lot of them are young players and experiencing a big tournament for the first time,” Southgate said, via Sky Sports.

“So as a coaching staff we are realistic about our expectations of them as individuals. Jadon is in that mix. He’s trained well the last few days and of course we have got those options and those decisions to make.”

‘This is a relatively inexperienced group.’

While Southgate is conscious of the youth and inexperience of some of his players, the Three Lions manager fielded the youngest England starting team on average to ever play at a major tournament against Scotland on Saturday.

The average age of the starting 11 was just over 25, with two 21 year old’s – Phil Foden and Reece James – both starting against the Scots in the tense goalless draw.

Southgate is well aware of his team’s inexperience and argued that the game against Scotland was something that many of his players had never faced before.

“This is a relatively inexperienced group, I think the third least caps in the tournament. Against Scotland, it was a young team so that’s a different experience for a lot of them than they’ve ever faced before,” Southgate commented.

“They’ve just about survived it. We want to be better and that’s what we’re going to work through in the next few days before we play the Czech Republic.”

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