Eng­land need ‘emo­tional Con­trol’ against Scot­land

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Eng­land must show “emo­tional con­trol” when they face Scot­land in a World Cup qual­i­fier at Wem­b­ley on Fri­day, in­terim man­ager Gareth South­gate said yes­ter­day.

The first com­pet­i­tive clash be­tween the na­tions since 1999 is guar­an­teed to be highly charged and while Eng­land are firm favourites, South­gate says form goes out of the win­dow when the old ri­vals meet.

“What­ever hap­pened with their re­sults, it does not re­flect their per­for­mances,” South­gate told a news con­fer­ence. “Their men­tal­ity for a game like this is un­ques­tion­able and they have un­ques­tion­able spirit. We will have to bet­ter that and out­play them to win the game,” he added. “We have to have emo­tional con­trol go­ing into the game. It is the old­est in­ter­na­tional fix­ture. We will make sure if the play­ers don’t know about it, that they are made aware of it in the early part of the week.” Eng­land are top of Group F with seven points from three games while Scot­land are fourth with four fol­low­ing a heavy de­feat by Slo­vakia last time out.

Scot­land did win the most re­cent com­pet­i­tive clash be­tween the sides, how­ever, a 1-0 win in a qual­i­fy­ing play­off for the 2000 Eu­ro­pean Cham­pi­onship, although they lost the home leg 2-0 and Eng­land ad­vanced.

South­gate is half­way through his four-game stint in charge fol­low­ing the sack­ing of Sam Al­lardyce. They also play Spain in a friendly next week af­ter which a de­ci­sion will be made on whether South­gate con­tin­ues. “I was asked to take four matches and I have got an­other two re­ally ex­cit­ing matches and I am look­ing for­ward to that,” he said.

“I have en­joyed it all and what hap­pens to me is not im­por­tant, it is about the team.

“I want to leave the team and coun­try on top of the group at the end of Fri­day night, that is my only fo­cus.” Eng­land will be with­out Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur midfielder Dele Alli who is in­jured while Arse­nal’s Theo Wal­cott could drop out as his wife is ex­pect­ing a baby.

“We are not to­tally sure but Theo could dis­ap­pear at any time with his wife ex­pect­ing,” South­gate said. Fit-again Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur striker Harry Kane re­turns to the squad af­ter miss­ing the qual­i­fiers against Malta and Slove­nia and there was also a re­call for Arse­nal’s Jack Wil­shere who is cur­rently on loan at Bournemouth. Kane scored a penalty in a 1-1 draw at Arse­nal on Sun­day, his first ac­tion since in­jur­ing his an­kle on Sept. 18. “It’s ob­vi­ously early stages of com­ing back from quite a long in­jury but we saw (against Arse­nal) the de­sire that he has and the knack of be­ing in the right place at the right time - not only the goal he scored, but a cou­ple of other chances. It’s good to have him back in with the squad,” South­gate said.

Gareth South­gate

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