England’s boss, Gareth Southgate says his frontline is as exciting as any team’s. However, he urges Rashford to modify his style and make better use of his speed in an attacking trio.
World Cup Golden Boot winner Harry Kane hit a hat-trick in Saturday’s 4-0 win over Bulgaria. Raheem Sterling netted the other and Marcus Rashford played along with them.
“I think they are as exciting as anything,” said Southgate before Tuesday’s EURO 2020 qualifier against Kosovo in St Mary’s.
England is on top of its qualifying group with three wins from three, but only one point above Kosovo.
“I remember going to Spain and thinking, well, a really tough game. But when you look at our front three and their front three, I felt we were strong,” Southgate said.
Tottenham striker Kane has scored 25 goals in only 40 caps as well as winning the Premier League Golden Boot twice.
Manchester City winger Sterling is in electric form with seven goals in six games for club and country this season.
Sancho, 19, has scored 17 times and set up 27 goals in 60 games for Bundesliga side Dortmund.
Southgate on Rashford
Manchester United’s Rashford has scored seven England goals by the age of 21. Nonetheless, Southgate and his colleagues believe the Manchester United forward could be more effective. That is, if he spends less time dropping back to look for the ball and start using his phenomenal pace to get behind opposition defenses.
“Although we have for a long time almost wanted Marcus to be a number 9, I’m still not certain that that is where he is happiest and where he does his work best,” Southgate said.
“A lot of his development at United was as a wide raider. He isn’t as strong as Harry with his back to goal and holding play up.”
The emphasis according to Southgate, is for Rashford to think more about his game positionally, taking up parts of the pitch where he can take advantage of his speed, rather than working on the area where he is not necessarily so strong.
Asked if his forwards know they can be among the best, Southgate said, “They have great humility. I think they possibly don’t, because they sometimes don’t view themselves as others do.”
“I think whenever we’re judging games, all of us look at what has not gone well and sometimes we can overlook the brilliant things that they do, that maybe other countries don’t have.”