England boss Southgate hails the Maturity of his players after Euro 2020 Qualification


England manager Gareth Southgate has hailed his young side for not letting the pressure of reaching a major tournament get to them as they look to wrap up their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign in positive style in Kosovo.

The Three Lions sealed their place at next summer’s tournament with an emphatic 7-0 win over Montenegro at Wembley on Thursday night.

At a press conference in Pristina on Saturday evening, Southgate said: “Now we have qualified, we still have desire to win the game because seedings for the finals could be important.

“What has pleased me most looking back is we have qualified comfortably and played some incredible attacking football.

“People will obviously look at the quality of some of the opponents, but I think over the years we have had players where the shirt has hung heavy and the performances have reflected that.

“We put out a team the other day with an average age of 23, the youngest team for 60 years.

“There are young players coming in loving playing for England, really playing with freedom and expression, thinking about what is possible on the field rather than worrying about losing the game or what might happen in those sort of fixtures.

“For me, that is a massive shift from when I joined the FA to work with the under-21s and has been a real highlight for me over the past few days.”

Joe Gomez and Jordan Henderson are to miss England’s final Euro 2020 qualifier on Sunday due to illness and injury respectively.

Gomez was hurt when clashing knees in an accidental collision with Kieran Trippier.

His Liverpool team-mate Henderson missed the 7-0 home win over Montenegro after arriving in the England camp with a viral infection and has not fully recovered.

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