HomeNews‘We had to go with speed’ – Southgate defends decision to snub Grealish in England defeat
‘We had to go with speed’ – Southgate defends decision to snub Grealish in England defeat
October 15, 2020
England boss Gareth Southgate has defended his decision to snub Jack Grealish as the Three Lions crashed to a 1-0 Nations League defeat against Denmark on Wednesday.
Southgate’s side was forced to play for more than an hour with 10 men after Harry Maguire was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence.Starting debutant Reece James also saw red after the final whistle for dissent against refereeJesus Gil Manzano.
The Three Lions manager was askedpost-matchabout his failure to utilise Grealish, to which he explainedMaguire’s sending off changed his plans for the match.Southgate insisted that his team needed pace down the flanks with their player disadvantage.
“We had to go with speed in the wide areas and athleticism in the wide areas because with 10 you’ve got to do such a shift, Mason Mount and Marcus Rashford did that really well,” Southgate said to Sky Sports.
“They defended well and gave us a threat and Masonnearly scored with the header.
“Getting Dominic Calvert-Lewinand Jadon Sancho on, Harry Kane was winning every header and winning fouls which meant we could get set pieces into the box. The red card threw a lot of plans out of the box unfortunately.”
Grealish has only made two appearances for England, with his senior debut coming as a 76th-minute substitute in September’s 0-0 draw with Denmark, before he produced a stunning performance in his first start against Wales last week.
The Villa skipper regularly sliced apart the Welshdefence, playing an inch-perfect cross for Calvert-Lewin’s first international goal and looking impressive when he got on the ball.
England haveslipped to third in Nations League group A2 behind Belgium and Denmarkand now face a battle to finish in the top qualifying position for the tournament’s finals.