Southgate: Man Utd striker Rashford NOT a natural No9

Southgate: Man Utd striker Rashford NOT a natural No9

The two full-back positions are proving to be the most competitive area in the England team as Southgate tries to find his strongest side in time for Euro 2020 next summer.

The 21-year-old has mainly been deployed as a centre-forward for Manchester United this season but has often been utilised as a winger for club and country in the past.

Since then, although, he has predominantly been deployed as an inside ahead on the left-wing and the truth that his highest objective tally throughout a season stands at 13 demonstrates that his strike-rate has slowed since his breakthrough.

Rashford has scored twice and provided an assist for the Red Devils this season.

Southgate acknowledged that Rashford's hold-up play isn't as efficient as his strike accomplice Harry Kane and as an alternative considers him as extra of a "wide raider" who could cause harm when floating in off the flank.

England are undefeated in 42 European Championship and World Cup qualifiers, a run dating back to a 1-0 loss to Ukraine in October 2009.

"Although we have, for a long time, nearly wanted Marcus to be that option as a [No] 9, I'm still not certain that that is where he is happiest and where he does his best work", Southgate said. I think they have great humility.

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"It is clear for me it will be a very, very hard game but it is a possibility for our very young team to show what is a very, very high level". Sometimes he wants to come to the ball [when] I'd be happy with that as a defender. "I really have to keep encouraging our players to use the strengths they have".

"I think they're as exciting as anything", he added.

Asked if the players are beginning to recognise they have the potential to be the best, Southgate said: "It's an interesting comment".

"We are Kosovo and we are here against one of the best teams in the world, in my opinion - the best team in the world", he said.

"I think whenever we're judging games, all of us look at what hasn't gone well and sometimes we can overlook the brilliant things that they do, that maybe other countries don't have".

"If I say "we come to win", I think a lot of people think that is pretentious; if I say "it is not possible to win against England", I must change my job".



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