Southgate: I’m brave enough to make big calls
(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