South­gate: I’m brave enough to make big calls

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

(Bale 10) (Okri­ashvili (Mitro­vic 6, 23, Tadic 74) (Sab­itzer 15, Janko 62), (Bu­gaiov 45+1) (Long 2, McClean 69,

(Hemed 4, 16) (Gop­pel 49), 55, Nolito 63), 57, Hasani 59) 75, 90+2). (Costa (Nestorovski (Belotti 24, Im­mo­bile ENG­LAND in­terim man­ager Gareth South­gate has de­clared he has the nec­es­sary courage to make con­tentious de­ci­sions, amid clam­our for him to drop un­der-per­form­ing cap­tain Wayne Rooney. Rooney was booed by some fans dur­ing Eng­land’s 2-0 World Cup qual­i­fy­ing win over Malta on Satur­day and former na­tional team cap­tain Alan Shearer has led calls for him to be dropped. South­gate said he was “very pleased” with Rooney’s per­for­mance, but cited his time as man­ager of Mid­dles­brough, when he had to sack mem­bers of staff, as proof of his abil­ity to make tough calls. Asked about the big­gest de­ci­sion he had pre­vi­ously made in his man­age­rial ca­reer, he replied: “Mak­ing some re­ally close friends re­dun­dant. That’s prob­a­bly as big as you can get.” South­gate was asked whether he would be pre­pared to take a de­ci­sion as mo­men­tous as bench­ing Rooney, who is Eng­land’s record goal-scorer and most-capped out­field player. “There’s a lot of hy­po­thet­i­cal parts to the ques­tion, but when­ever we pick a team, we se­lect a team we feel is right for the game,” he told re­porters at Wem­b­ley af­ter the win over Malta. South­gate, whose side tackle Slove­nia in Ljubl­jana to­day, played down the sig­nif­i­cance of the fact Rooney has been dropped for Manch­ester United’s last three games. “I think at this mo­ment in time that’s ir­rel­e­vant,” he said.

Repub­lic Liecht­en­stein 1 Al­ba­nia 0 Spain 2 Mace­do­nia 2 Italy 3

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