Gareth Southgate 'outraged' by claim that his England players lack pride

Danny Welbeck

Danny Welbeck

The Liverpool midfielder skippered the Three Lions in their 4-0 win over Malta in Valetta on Friday, and manager Gareth Southgate has confirmed he will receive the job once again.

The Manchester United defender was making just his seventh competitive outing for England, having made a further 15 appearances in worldwide friendlies. Emile Heskey opened the scoring early on with the penultimate strike of his seven-goal worldwide career before a late Rooney brace and a Frank Lampard goal sealed an emphatic win for the hosts.

"Danny can play a couple of different roles, which makes him a valuable asset".

England manager Southgate said Kane is determined to match the feats of Real Madrid star Ronaldo and Barcelona's Messi, who share nine Ballon d'Or awards between them.

Southgate lamented the booing directed at his players - "I don't see how it can help the team" - and said the age-old English obsession with passion and pride missed the point.

"I was having some interaction with [Spain head coach] Julen Lopetegui at a game where he was commenting on how lucky I was to have Harry playing", Southgate said.

Friday's 4-0 victory in Malta included one goal in the 85th minute and two in stoppage time - disguising what had been a turgid display against a side ranked 190th in the world by Federation Internationale de Football Association.

"He's in top form - but he's also got the mentality to want to be the best". Why can't that happen moving forward?

The 24-year-old Tottenham striker is renowned for having a powerful drive to improve himself as a player and Southgate believes he is an example to his England team-mates. He had that when we weren't picking him in the under-21s.

England are two points clear of Slovakia at the top of UEFA qualifying Group F and if they win on Monday, they will require only two points from their last two games to secure their place in Russian Federation.

Marcus Rashford is set to replace Raheem Sterling in the starting line-up at Wembley tonight and Southgate is delighted with the number of forwards available, even though the team is short in other areas.

"We are playing good opposition so we have to make sure we are tactically prepared, which we will be, but also have belief in the team we have got", Southgate said.

"We've got some exciting players and we want to go and show that, We know the task we have".

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