Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Rashford gets England back to winning ways over Switzerland

Injury forces Alli out of England squad to face Switzerland Dele Alli has pulled out of England's friendly against Switzerland on Tuesday with a minor muscle
Isaac Mcdaniel | 13 September, 2018, 13:14

Kane has appeared sluggish and off the pace since returning from an ankle injury sustained against Bournemouth in March and Neville expressed his surprise that Gareth Southgate chose to use him as a second half substitute during England's 1-0 win over Switzerland on Tuesday.

On England ending their losing run, Southgate added: "I have a feeling we might be sitting here next month talking about a fourth competitive defeat before the next match".

Marcus Rashford went into the worldwide break under a cloud, after being red-carded for rashly lowering his head into Phil Bardsley's face during Manchester United's 2-0 win at Burnley, but he emerges from it as one of the few players to have scored points - and the only one to have scored any goals - for England. "He's had three days of little training, so half-an-hour was flawless to keep him ticking over".

Comparisons with Kane and Ronaldo are possibly over the top but, in essence, Southgate is correct.

Rashford has cut a frustrated figure at Old Trafford after starting just one game this season.

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"Yes he is (a special talent)", Southgate said of Rashford after seeing him score the only goal in Tuesday's friendly win over Switzerland. I think there is a welfare thing in terms of looking after players.

Harry Kane should have been given a reprieve by England for their fixtures against Spain in the Nations League and Switzerland in a friendly, Gary Neville has argued.

"He's going to be going back into matches at his club", said Southgate. "José [Mourinho] thinks the world of Marcus - he's a huge admirer of him - but he has his job to do".

"He's got huge competition for places at his club, so you can understand that".

'His confidence will be boosted I'm sure, with two goals against top-quality opposition'. Even with some of the step-overs and things [Cristiano] Ronaldo was doing at that age he wasn't converting them into the number of goals, so we have to give him [Rashford] time to develop. "It was a tall order to ask them to go in and play against a really good side in Switzerland, who are an excellent team". "For me, I was delighted because we really wanted to make him feel important over this period anyway".

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