England boss Gareth Southgate has warned the players that he will not tolerate any negligence ahead of tonight’s Euro 2024 qualifying match with North Macedonia.
The Three Lions have performed impressively so far during their qualifying campaign, winning six of their seven matches.
However, England were in disappointing form after beating Malta 2-0 at Wembley on Friday night.
Harry Kane, who scored the hosts’ second goal of the night, also criticized his teammates for their performance during that match.
England boss Gareth Southgate has warned his players over the possibility of conflict in North Macedonia
And Southgate has now warned England players that anyone he feels is slacking off will not be named in the Euro 2024 squad next summer.
The 53-year-old player also said that he wants his team to achieve the number 1 position in the FIFA rankings as well.
“Why (would they do this)? What are we trying to do? Why would we accept this?” When he was asked about players taking their foot off the gas, he said this.
“We have got a chance to step up some players as we did at the weekend (2-0 win over Malta).
“I talked about Mark Guhy and Trent Alexander-Arnold (good performance) after the game. We also got Cole Palmer in the game.
“I can’t imagine any other environment where you would be thinking, ‘Let’s watch these games’.
“Maybe that’s why we haven’t been able to get to where we needed to be as a team in the past.”
He added: “We may be third in the world at the moment, but we are two places behind where we should be, so we can’t afford to waste the game.
“If we want to be a top team, the performance level has to be right all the time.
“Yes (the FIFA No. 1 spot is an ambition), because eventually you achieve it through consistency and you have to play well in tournaments, because the ranking points are higher.
“Furthermore, it determines every day behavior on the training pitch, off the training pitch.
“If you are going to be a top-ranked team, there is no room for carelessness or negligence.
“That should be our drive.”
Southgate was also asked about Marcus Rashford.
The Manchester United star has worked hard for his club this season and has scored just one goal in 16 appearances.
And Rashford was also underwhelming during England’s win over Malta on Friday night.
Southgate was quizzed on whether the forward would start and, while he kept his cards close to his chest, he suggested the winger would need to improve between now and the end of the season.
“Clearly we’ve got good competition for the wideout positions,” he said.
“All our players have to be aware that they have to play well.
“We have to pick a team for the Euros in three matches’ time.”
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When the two teams last met in June, England defeated North Macedonia 7-0.
England defeated North Macedonia 7–0 in the match at Old Trafford in June.
Bukayo Saka scored his country’s first hat-trick that day, with Kane scoring two goals.
Rashford and Kelvin Phillips also scored that day.