Published: Sat, November 11, 2017
Sports | By Ivan Ross

Gareth Southgate says England 'not at the same stage' as Germany

Gareth Southgate says England 'not at the same stage' as Germany

Former Chelsea player, coach and caretaker manager Ray Wilkins has made a bold claim concerning the potential of on-loan Blues midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

The first friendly in the build-up to Russian Federation 2018 could have been thrown off kilter by the withdrawal of seven players, yet a youthful Three Lions line-up took their chances to impress against the reigning world champions.

'I spoke to Danny earlier in the week but he feels he is not fit enough to play, ' Southgate said.

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Loftus-Cheek has now explained what prompted his decision to leave Chelsea behind - albeit temporarily. So for me to get to that next level I needed to play regular football.

"Despite his size, appearance and the way he plays, he's not hugely confident at times and I think tonight it took him 10 minutes to have a look around him and think "alright, OK, I can do this". It seemed a bit messy with loads of pull outs, but it's been really tight.

Butland will also miss the glamour clash against Brazil next Tuesday and joins a host of absentees from Gareth Southgate's squad. So we came to an agreement.

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"We had two or three very good attacks in the first half, and the defence was well organised by Mats (Hummels)".

Few will expect England to make much of a challenge for the World Cup next summer, but that won't stop us getting excited and fans starting to believe this really could be our year.

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