Southgate insists John Stones are NOT in danger of losing England’s spot during a dry spell at Man City
Gareth Southgate insists John Stones are NOT in danger of losing England’s spot and believes Manchester City’s lack of playing time is due to bad luck
- John Stones has yet to start his 2021-22 season at his club Manchester City
- The centre-back’s only minutes have come for England, with three games
- Stones kept his place in Andorra and started before being knocked out in the 5-0 win
- Gareth Southgate is confident Stones will be back in the Man City squad soon
Gareth Southgate insists he is not worried about John Stones’ lack of club action, despite the centre-back not playing a minute for Manchester City.
Stones’ only action this season has been for England, playing twice in last month’s caps before starting against Andorra on Saturday.
The central half is expected to kick off against Hungary, with Southgate poised to recall his big guns for the Wembley clash after selecting what was essentially a second-rate side against Andorra.
John Stones ready to keep his place in England’s XI as Gareth Southgate backs the defender
The defender has to play another minute for Manchester City this season, is struggling with problems
In the past, Southgate has made it clear that he will only select those who regularly play for their clubs.
But the England boss has recently changed course given his entry into Stones, Ben Chilwell, Jesse Lingard and Jadon Sancho, all of whom do not regularly appear at club level.
And speaking after the win over Andorra, Southgate revealed he is confident Stones will play enough for City to justify his selection.
The English boss said: ‘I don’t foresee it going to be a problem, he’s just been very unhappy.
Southgate is confident that Pep Guardiola will soon give opportunities to the central defender again
“He had a little problem at the beginning of the season, just before their first game, and I know how it worked, he was on the bench after he got back from us and got injured in training the next day.
“Then when you go into that last run of three games, many of the big managers, when they play in games like that, playing against a team that is physically up to speed, will remember not to change.
“Before those three games, we probably knew that would happen.
“John, when he goes back, he will play so many games and everyone knows his quality, so he will be on the team and I don’t think that will be a problem in the future.” Meanwhile, the England boss is adamant that the racist abuse his players received in Hungary will not be a problem for tomorrow’s game.
Stones started in England’s 5-0 win over Andorra and looked solid before being knocked out
FIFA slammed the Hungarian FA with a stadium ban after investigating the abuse, but Southgate added: “To be honest we will just focus on performing well, playing well, trying to win the match, trying to perform for our fans to give at home.
‘Experiences like that bring you together as a group. They are as much reference points for us as performance.
“The way we got into an intimidating atmosphere and controlled the game for a long time.
“The rest, I don’t think the players would want to focus on. I think they want to continue the game.”