Only 3 to 4 World Cup spots left confirms England boss Southgate

  • Only 3 to 4 World Cup spots left confirms England boss Southgate

Only 3 to 4 World Cup spots left confirms England boss Southgate

Gareth Southgate insists he knows "19 or 20" of the names that will make up his 23-man England squad for the World Cup in Russian Federation this summer after seeing his side draw with Italy at Wembley on Tuesday evening.

Raheem Sterling, in a floating role behind Jamie Vardy, impressed throughout but it was the Leicester man who would open the scoring for the Three Lions, blasting home after a smart, quickly-taken freekick from Jesse Lingard kept a counter-attack going.

England were fortunate to escape some defensive lapses, especially when Ciro Immobile headed over in the first half - but looked to be closing out a confidence-boosting win until a late intervention from VAR.

However, German referee Deniz Aytekin overturned his initial decision not to award a spot-kick when substitute Federico Chiesa tumbled under the challenge of James Tarkowski on his England debut five minutes from time.

"I'm glad it's not the World Cup just yet", said Southgate, whose side are unbeaten for a year.

The referee then decides whether or not to overrule their own decision in an on-field review and the VAR is not involved in that part of the decision-making process, which was followed correctly in England versus Italy - precisely because the incident was not a refereeing clear error. I don't think with incidents like that VAR will clear things up.

"There's a clearer communication with those in the stadium in other sports". An obvious handball and stuff like that then maybe - but we have to get on with it.

"From the midfield onwards I thought we were a massive threat tonight, far more than in recent games". What's really pleased me is the guys are solving problems on the pitch themselves: changes of formation from the opposition; working their way through different pressing tactics.

Southgate was more encouraged by his team's performance which, until rhythm was disrupted amid a flurry of substitutions, saw England dominate the Italians.

However, Southgate, who said Alli would have come on had it not been for a head injury to John Stones which forced the defender off, reiterated the Tottenham midfielder's importance to his squad ahead of the World Cup.

Federation Internationale de Football Association requires Southgate to name a provisional 35-man squad by May 14, with it needed to be whittled down to a 23-strong group by June 4.

"But of course Dele always wants to play, and he'll be disappointed, of course". "He's disappointed with that, but he's a really good player and an important member of the squad for us".