Foden challenged to show his quality after England boss Southgate clears the air

By Sports Desk November 18, 2020

Gareth Southgate sought to clear the air with Phil Foden on his first day back in the England camp and challenged the Manchester City midfielder to "show everybody what he can do".

Foden made his England debut in a 1-0 Nations League win in Iceland in September but was sent home along with Manchester United striker Mason Greenwood prior to the fixture against Denmark for breaching coronavirus protocols.

The duo were left out of the squad for last month's international window, with Southgate explaining at the time: "We have to send a message to all the players in our teams at every age level that that sort of thing isn't how we do things with England, but then we also have to rehabilitate these two boys."

While Greenwood missed out on selection for November's batch of games, Foden did earn a recall and came off the bench in the friendly win over the Republic of Ireland.

Foden is set to get more minutes in England's final Nations League clash against Iceland at Wembley on Wednesday and Southgate insisted there will be no lasting ramifications for the 20-year-old.

"It has been good to have him back this week," the Three Lions boss said. "Phil has trained really well this week and it was good to get him into the game against Ireland.

"Given the players in the squad and the way it is emerging and evolved over the week, it will be good to get Phil into the game. 

"I am sure he has relished the chance to be back with the squad, we know he is a very exciting talent and he is a player who we have a lot of belief in and who Manchester City have a lot of belief in, so this could be a good opportunity for him to show everybody what he can do really.

"I made sure we chatted on the first day and put that behind us immediately.

"It was done once we had made the decision on the October squad. That was it. From then on it was always going to be a judgment on football.  

"I'm sure for anybody walking back in initially that is going to feel a little bit...especially when you're young, but definitely as the week has gone on he has been more relaxed.  

"I gave him a bit of a hiding at two-touch yesterday, which he was probably a little bit upset about, but he's in with the group.

"He's relaxed, and that's what's important because to be able to play his football properly that's where everybody needs to be."

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