Pulis: Duo should be ready if Eng­land call

Birmingham Post - - SPORT - Foot­ball Writer

JAY Ro­driguez and Kieran Gibbs shouldn’t book summer hol­i­days just yet, be­cause their coun­try could still need them.

That’s the view of Tony Pulis who reck­ons the Al­bion duo could still force their way into Gareth South­gate’s Eng­land squad for the World Cup.

There is, of course, the small mat­ter of qual­i­fy­ing for the tour­na­ment in Rus­sia.

But it would take a cat­a­strophic col­lapse for the Three Lions, Jake Liver­more in­cluded, not to book their place in the next few days.

Eng­land sit two points clear at the top of qual­i­fy­ing Group F with two games to go.

A win against ei­ther Slove­nia, at Wem­b­ley to­mor­row, or Lithua­nia in Vil­nius on Sun­day, will seal qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

Liver­more has bat­tled back into the na­tional pic­ture af­ter some eye­catch­ing dis­plays for his club.

In­deed, South­gate has named the Al­bion man in all four of his squads as per­ma­nent Eng­land boss. And Pulis sees no rea­son why Gibbs and Ro­driguez can’t fol­low suit.

“We’ve had out­stand­ing per­for­mances from Gibbs since he’s come into the foot­ball club and Jay has been fan­tas­tic as well,” Pulis said.

“There’s peo­ple out­side the group that could force their way in over the com­ing months. I think Gareth will have an open mind.

“There’s two-thirds of the sea­son to go for us, or more than that. at.

“You get in­juries, loss s of form, every­thing hap­pen­ning within a sea­son.

“Es­pe­cially with the Eng­land play­ers or who­ever goes to the World Cup, you’ve got that time to im­press and make sure you do im­press.”

Liver­more stands a very good chance of f mak­ing the plane for Russ­sia. As does Nacer Chadli adli with Bel­gium, who have al­ready qual­i­fied for next ext summer’s show­piece.

Chadli has not fea­tured in the Premier League for West Brom this sea­son, but was named in the Bel­gium squad for their games against Bos­nia and Cyprus.

Liver­more and Chadli among a large gath­er­ing com­pet­ing in Rus­sia.

North­ern Ir­ish trio Jonny Evans, Chris Brunt and Gareth McAu­ley are vir­tu­ally as­sured of a play-off place.

Matt Phillips and James Mor­ri­son could still make it with Scot­land.

Hal Rob­son-Kanu’s Wales and James McClean’s Repub­lic of Ire­land are vy­ing for a run­ner-up spot be­hind Ser­bia in Group D.

“Chadli is al­ready there with Bel­gium,” Pulis added

“We’ve got one lad whose go­ing to be play­ing over there.

“And then you’ve got the sit­u­a­tion with the Celts, Ir­ish, Welsh and Scots still be­ing in­volved. We’ve got that.

“Eng­land is a small part of that.” could be of Bag­gies

> Jay Ro­driguez and (in­set) Kieran Gibbs

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