Phil Foden was back in Gareth Southgate's good books with his history-making Wembley double in the 4-0 win against Iceland.

But the 20-year-old England midfielder admitted afterwards that being sent home following an away game against the same opposition in September was "one of the hardest moments" of his life.

Foden, along with Manchester United teenager Mason Greenwood, was told to leave the England camp for breaking coronavirus protocol after the 1-0 win in Reykjavik.

The Manchester City youngster returned to competitive action for England on Wednesday against familiar opponents, and turned in a stellar display in an emphatic Nations League win, opening his international account with a superb late double.

Having set up Declan Rice's opener – the West Ham midfielder's maiden England goal – Foden swept home from Jadon Sancho's pass to make it 3-0 before rounding off the scoring with a crisp finish from the edge of the box.

In the process, Foden became the youngest player in the history of the England national team to score more than once in a match at Wembley, but the playmaker insisted he was simply relieved to have repaid manager Southgate's faith.

"It's up there with one of the best games and it means a lot to me," Foden told Sky Sports.

"I just couldn’t stop smiling after my goal, it’s an unbelievable feeling and I’m just going to try and enjoy it as much as I can.

"[The incident in Iceland] was one of the hardest moments of my life. That’s the time you need the trust of your manager and Gareth had a lot of respect for me and it means everything to me. I just wanted to repay him with goals and do well.

"I was just determined to come back and do the best I can. I was a little bit nervous at the start of this camp but I got used to it after a while."

Southgate was thrilled for Foden to make such an impact on his first competitive appearance for his country since September 5, with the City man having come on as a substitute in a friendly win over the Republic of Ireland last week.

"I'm really pleased for him, he's such an exciting player," Southgate told Sky Sports.

"It was a big week for him to come back in, not easy for him to walk in the door when he'd left like he did previously. For us, it's done. Today the two goals were a glimpse of what he's capable of."

England finished third in Nations League Group A2, though the win means they remain unbeaten in their final game of each year since a 1-0 reverse to Germany in 2013.

With Mason Mount also getting on the scoresheet, three players aged 21 and under scored for England in the same match for the first time since February 1883 against Ireland.

Mount dovetailed well with Rice in midfield – the pair having been close friends since their time together at Chelsea's academy.

"We've been best mates since we were eight years old, we've seen each other grow," Rice told Sky Sports.

"When we knew we were starting tonight together it was special and to both score, our families will be bursting with pride."

Phil Foden opened his England account with a double as Gareth Southgate's side ended their Nations League campaign on a high with a 4-0 victory over 10-man Iceland.

Defeat to Belgium on Sunday had ensured Wednesday's Group A2 meeting at Wembley was a dead rubber, but England's youthful team nevertheless turned in an impressive display.

Making his first England appearance since breaking coronavirus protocol after a victory over Iceland in September, Foden marked his return in style, setting up Declan Rice's opener before adding further gloss to a routine win with a superbly taken brace.

Mason Mount had doubled England's tally, with Birkir Mar Saevarsson's red card for a second bookable offence all but ending any comeback hopes for outgoing Iceland coach Erik Hamren.

For differing reasons, Jack Grealish and Foden were the big stories heading into the game and the two playmakers combined for England's 20th-minute opener.

Rice was the benefactor, heading in his maiden England goal from Foden's free-kick, which was won by Grealish, who moments later teed up Bukayo Saka.

The Arsenal youngster failed to beat Ogmundur Kristinsson, but Mount made no such mistake with England's next chance, coolly prodding in after latching onto Harry Kane's knockdown.

Harry Maguire's marauding run forward resulted in a fine pass through for Foden, whose shot was charged down by Kristinsson, who then denied the midfielder again before Kane curled wide.

Iceland's hopes seemed to have been extinguished nine minutes into the second half – Saevarsson receiving a second yellow for pulling back Saka.

Kari Arnason might have changed that, yet he headed wide from Ari Freyr Skulason's corner.

Yet England had the third goal their dominance deserved in the 80th minute when Foden swept home from Jadon Sancho's cutback.

The 20-year-old Foden was not done there, however, and capped off a fine individual display with a thumping strike into the bottom-right corner.

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."

Gareth Southgate says England produced their best statistical performance against a big nation despite losing 2-0 to Belgium last time out.

The Nations League defeat in Leuven has prompted calls for Southgate to ditch his 3-4-3 system ahead of Wednesday's home clash with Iceland.

But the England boss insisted the formation had produced a better performance then the result suggested, comparing it favourably to the famous 3-2 away win over Spain in October 2018.

Asked if his system was too conservative, Southgate said on Tuesday: "Well, I think we were very exciting to watch against Ireland four or five days ago and we were very exciting to watch against Belgium.

"Statistically, our job is to analyse games during and after them. There is a coaching eye on how we have played and then we look at the data.

"[Against Belgium] that is as good a performance as we have had against any of the big nations.

"The interesting thing is there is a perception we didn't start the game well. But in the first half an hour we had more attempts on goal than Belgium; possession, they had a tiny bit more around 52 per cent, but we had the more dangerous attacks and more shots on goal.

"I understand once they were ahead in the latter stages of the game maybe they sat back a bit, but that's partly because we pressed well and they couldn't get out.

"So that performance [against Belgium] was in actual fact a contrast to Spain which everyone is talking about. That [Spain] match was our worst performance statistically."

Southgate added: "There were other things we did well that night [against Spain], we played with great endeavour and we counter-attacked really well, but the perception of that game is not the reality.

"As a coaching team we have to look at if you perform to those levels [like we did against Spain] every week, you lose games. If you perform to the game we did against Belgium, you'll win games.

"So it's a fascinating debate because the perception after a defeat, there's always a narrative and a story. Whichever way we play there will be strengths and weaknesses to the team.

"We need to find the best path, keep improving it, but [three at the back] can be a system that has flexibility, can be adaptable based on the profile of the players.

"That's what we've done for the last few games and then we'll get to this end of this camp and review everything before March."

Comparing the performances

England racked up 16 shots against Belgium compared to only five versus Spain, according to Opta data.

Nine of those attempts came from inside the box in Belgium, but only three of their efforts ended up on target, the same total as their miserable haul in Seville.

England therefore paid the price for poor finishing, but Southgate was right to suggest they were a much greater attacking threat.

The Three Lions also had much more of the ball against Belgium - 55 per cent compared to just 27 per cent in the Spain win.

They also attempted over double the amount of passes (589 to 283) and achieved a greater accuracy (87 per cent to 77).

As well as with the attacking and creative data, Southgate also seems to be vindicated with a look at the defensive numbers. England restricted Belgium to eight shots and only three of those were on target.

Despite beating Spain, England allowed 24 attempts on their goal with six on target.

England's best formation

While Southgate countered the suggestion a back four would be more suitable and talked up the virtues of the current approach, the data is less kind to him when it comes to formations.

Eight of England's 10 defeats since he took charge have come from only 22 games when playing three at the back.

Twenty-four matches with four in defence have resulted in 17 wins, five draws and only two losses. Two games with five at the back, meanwhile, both ended in draws.

Jack Grealish can cope with the increased expectations following a strong start to his England career, though Gareth Southgate has emphasised success will only be achieved as a team. 

Aston Villa playmaker Grealish, 25, made his full England debut in a 3-0 victory over Wales in October - setting up the opening goal for Dominic Calvert-Lewin - but was not used by Southgate for the subsequent Nations League fixtures. 

He set up Jadon Sancho in a 3-0 win over the Republic of Ireland last week and was bright in a 2-0 loss to Belgium on Sunday, attempting more passes in the opposition half than any player on the pitch and drawing a game-high seven fouls. 

That result ended England's hopes of reaching the last four of the Nations League and there have consequently been calls for Southgate to begin building his team around Grealish, who has been involved in 12 goals in as many appearances for club and country this season. 

Asked whether it was important to manage the expectations on Grealish ahead of Wednesday's meeting with Iceland, Southgate told a news conference: "I think that's always important with any player, we are going to succeed or fail as a team. It's for everybody to contribute. 

"We've tried to ensure over the past four year that it's collective expectation, we could put pressure on Harry Kane, Raheem [Sterling], other players, and it needs to be the same with Jack. 

"He's had a super start to his international career. I think he'll be able to handle the attention because he thrives under that pressure. He's got great courage with the ball, so I don't think that'll faze him. Equally, it's going to be the squad that brings us success as a collective."

Another player in the embryonic stages of their international career is 17-year-old Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham. 

When told Bellingham wears the number 22 because he was challenged to be capable of playing as a number four, eight and 10 at former club Birmingham City, Southgate said it is important not to try to categorise the teenager as a specialist in any one position yet. 

"Well, I think he could end up playing any of those roles. At Dortmund he's playing as one of two fours or as an eight, and most of the time at Birmingham he was kind of in the position of an eight really," said Southgate. 

"But he's so young, you don't have to specialise yet. [With] a lot of midfield players, it's more important he learns the game, he gets brilliant experiences playing in whatever positions might be his strongest and as time develops it'll probably become apparent which is his more suited position. 

"But he is a midfield player who can pass, tackle, break forward and score goals, so he can do any of those jobs and I never think with young players we should rush to pigeonhole them into one, we should wait to see how he develops. And, at the moment, he's developing really well." 

There has been a focus on the performances of Marcus Rashford following his charity work to help reduce food poverty among children in the United Kingdom. This week he also launched a book club for kids. 

Amid criticism from certain parts of the media and suggestions he should focus on football, Southgate has been left baffled by the treatment of the Manchester United forward.

"I don't really understand those comments. The days where the players just focused on their football and did nothing else are in the far distant past," he said.

"Modern players recognise they have an opportunity to make a difference, whether that's in their local community or on a broader scale, they have a voice and a social media presence.

"You know as a sportsman you're going to have a second career when you finish football, that's the reality, so I don't know why they would limit themselves to just one thing.

"Of course, it's important you're training and focus on games isn't affected, but it's possible to achieve that balance."

Harry Winks is growing concerned about his playing time at Tottenham as he bids to be in England's starting XI for next year's European Championship.

The 24-year-old midfielder made 31 appearances in the Premier League last season, the most he has managed for a single campaign in his career.

However, he has played in just half of Spurs' eight league matches this term, with Tanguy Ndombele and new signing Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg playing in every single one.

Winks made his England debut in October 2017 and has been a regular pick for Gareth Southgate since, featuring in each of their first two games in the current international break.

But his goal is to be a regular starter by the time the delayed Euro 2020 kicks off next June, and he accepts to achieve such an ambition he needs to dig deep at Spurs.

When asked if he needs Spurs boss Jose Mourinho to afford him more minutes, he told reporters: "Definitely. My situation at Tottenham is difficult at the moment.

"It's important that I keep fighting and working as hard as I can to stay in the squad and to stay in the team.

"Every time I get the opportunity for England, I love it, it's a great place to play football here. It's free and the lads get on really well, it's a great place to come to.

"I want to be a part of that in the Euros and I want to be in the starting XI in the Euros as well.

"But, yes, it's important that back at Tottenham I get the opportunities there and I stay in the team there as well."

England's hopes of reaching the Nations League Finals were ended by a 2-0 defeat by Belgium on Sunday, meaning there is nothing at stake for either team in Wednesday's clash with Iceland at Wembley.

Southgate may opt to use the situation to experiment with his team, though he feels that he has had little option to do otherwise across these past three international windows due to the amount of players he has lost to injuries.

In a packed schedule made even busier by the coronavirus pandemic's impact on the 2019-20 season, Southgate fears that by the time of England's next get-together in March, their injury list could be even more alarming – though this could play into the hands of players like Winks.

"What we don't know about March is what we will have available," Southgate added. "It is really an unknown and I have to say a concern.

"In terms of the squad or the starting XI, we have been nowhere near in any of the three [get-togethers this season] to having a full squad to pick from. Nowhere near.

"And, as the season progresses – we will go through with no winter break – we don't know who we will have at the end. So that would be the concern."

England manager Gareth Southgate confirmed he contracted coronavirus last month, though he has since recovered.

Reports emerged prior to Sunday's 2-0 Nations League loss to Belgium that Southgate had tested positive for COVID-19.

After England's hopes of reaching the Nations League Finals were ended by Group A2 leaders Belgium, Southgate revealed the positive coronavirus test.

"I did have the virus," Southgate told reporters. "I was fortunate it was not as serious as so many people in our country but not pleasant, not something you'd choose to have but everything is fine now."

Southgate's England needed at least a draw to ensure their chances of topping Group A2 remained alive going into their final game against Iceland.

However, first-half goals from Dries Mertens and Youri Tielemans put Belgium on track for a win that leaves them needing just a point in their final group game against Denmark to reach the Finals.

It was England's 10th defeat in 48 matches under Southgate – making him the first manager to lose 10 games with the Three Lions since Sven-Goran Eriksson, who lost 10 of his 67 fixtures in charge.

England also suffered back-to-back competitive internationals losses for the first time since tasting three consecutive defeats between July and September 2018.

Gareth Southgate acknowledged that Jack Grealish is working his way up the England pecking order after another impressive individual performance in Sunday's 2-0 defeat to Belgium.

Grealish was the undoubted highlight for the Three Lions as they saw their hopes of another UEFA Nations League Finals appearance dashed in Leuven.

The Aston Villa man took more touches (76) than any of his fellow England forwards, completed more passes in the opposition half (47) than any other player on the pitch, and won 86 per cent of his 14 duels.

Asked if Grealish had further strengthened his claim for regular England starts as a result, manager Southgate told ITV: "Yeah, 100 per cent. 

"I sort of explained to him what we wanted to see when we brought him in in September. 

"I think it's been helpful for him to bed in with the group so that he knows the way we want to play and the players get an understanding with him. 

"Today was a great game for us to see him in and to see the level and I couldn't speak highly enough of his performance.

"What I saw, that I knew I would see, was someone with the bravery to play. 

"I think he took the ball in tight areas, his technique was good, he took players out of the game. We knew he would buy a lot of free-kicks, which of course he did. 

"I just thought he was outstanding. He should be absolutely delighted with the way he played."

Grealish, too, alluded to his private conversations with Southgate, insisting they had been key to his emergence on the international stage.

He continued: "I said the other day, he's been brilliant with me since I first came here in September. He told me what I needed to do to get into the side and I've gone away and worked on that. 

"At the end of the day, that's what you need to do in football; there's only one person that you need to impress if you want to get in the team and that's the manager. 

"He obviously gave me some praise after the game, which is nice."

Harry Kane will captain England in his 50th international appearance after being named in the starting line-up to face Belgium in the Nations League.

The Tottenham striker was an unused substitute in Thursday's 3-0 friendly win over the Republic of Ireland at Wembley.

But the prolific Kane will start for England and reach the milestone in Leuven on Sunday evening.

Kane will be supported by Jack Grealish and Mason Mount in attack as England look to repeat last month's 2-1 home win over Belgium.

How does Kane rank in England history?

In-form frontman Kane is the 62nd player to reach a half-century of caps for England.

He has scored 32 international goals in 49 appearances, with Jimmy Greaves (43) the only player to have scored more in his first 50 outings for the country.

Kane is the first outfield player to win his first 50 caps while playing for the same club since Chelsea great John Terry did so. He also becomes the first player to win 50 England caps while at Tottenham, passing Jermain Defoe, who won 49 caps as a Spurs player.

This is the 28th time Kane has captained his country, with only Billy Wright (33) and Bobby Moore (31) doing so more times inside 50 games.

The 27-year-old does fall short of the youngest players to reach 50 caps, with Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen both only 23 at the time they had reached that tally, with Raheem Sterling next quickest having been 24.

This will be Kane's 33rd appearance since Gareth Southgate took charge of England. The only player to have been used more often by Southgate is Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford (37).

Spurs flying high

His international recognition comes amid a magnificent start to the season for Spurs, who are just one point off the top in the Premier League.

In 14 appearances across all competitions so far in the 2020-21 campaign, Kane has racked up 13 goals and an astonishing 10 assists.

He has created 22 chances, 18 of which have come in the Premier League. Only four players have a bigger tally, with Liverpool star Mohamed Salah top on 21 in the top flight.

Kane's creative streak has come as part of a flourishing partnership with Son Heung-min. The two attackers have already equalled a record for the amount of goals two Spurs players have combined for in a single Premier League season (nine).

The England skipper's winner against Burnley at the end of October, which was set up by Son, took them on to 29 goal combinations in Premier League history, second only to Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard at Chelsea.

Gareth Southgate believes any manager of a top team must be prepared to make big calls as he will with Jack Grealish, citing former England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson's difficulty choosing between Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.

Heading into a Nations League double-header against Belgium and Iceland, pressure is building on Southgate to name Aston Villa captain Grealish in his XI.

The 25-year-old switched allegiance from the Republic of Ireland to England in 2015 but did not make his senior Three Lions debut until September this year.

Even after breaking into Southgate's squad, Grealish - who has four goals and five assists in the Premier League this season - has struggled to hold down a place in the line-up.

Grealish's bow came from the bench in the goalless Nations League draw against Denmark, while his only two subsequent appearances have been in friendlies, starting in 3-0 wins over both Wales and Ireland.

The midfielder had a team-high two assists across those matches, while only Mason Mount (four) created more chances than his three, one of which was classed as a big chance.

It seems far from certain Grealish will get another opportunity from the outset in Belgium on Sunday, yet Southgate welcomed the challenges that come with a deep squad.

The England manager pointed to Eriksson's time at the helm when he had an array of options - most notably the midfield pair of Gerrard and Lampard, who were said to be too alike to play together.

"If you want to be manager of any big football club or national team, you've got to make decisions that you believe are the right ones for the team, for the whole group for the right reasons depending on the opponent," Southgate told reporters.

"That's part of life at the top. If you don't want that, go and work somewhere else, frankly.

"We're blessed; we've got some very good players. But I'm imagining when Sven had to pick from [David] Beckham, [Paul] Scholes, Gerrard, Lampard, [Michael] Carrick, that was a pretty difficult choice as well.

"You had Champions League winners in every position, [Wayne] Rooney, [Michael] Owen, European Footballer of the Year at the time.

"All big managers or all managers of big teams have to make those decisions and you've got to be strong, you've got to make them for the right reasons.

"We need a strong squad. In tomorrow's game, we'll need more than 11 - and we've got another game on Wednesday. We need to win them both to be able to win the group."

England beat Belgium in the sides' previous meeting at Wembley, but a subsequent home defeat to Denmark means the Three Lions must win this weekend to reclaim top spot in their group.

Southgate hopes the tide is turning for his side against elite opposition, acknowledging they have struggled previously against the world's best - including in a run to the World Cup semi-finals.

"If you look at history, we haven't been a country that have beaten the big teams," he said. "That's the great challenge for us. There's been very few wins against big nations in tournaments - that's a fact.

"Even in qualifying, I can go back; '98 in qualifying, Italy beat us at Wembley, Gianfranco Zola, and we got a draw in Rome to get us through.

"The perception that we've been an outstanding nation doesn't tally with the results over the years. That's a great opportunity for this team.

"In the last few months before the World Cup, I think we lost in France, lost in Germany, draws with Belgium and Germany at Wembley. We weren't able to nail the big teams.

"Since the World Cup, we had the win in Spain, the draw and the win against Croatia, and the win against Belgium now. We're starting to build those results.

"To be a really top team, you've got to do that consistently, and that's the great challenge for us. It's not an easy one - there's some fantastic teams out there - but it's not one we're fearful of."

Harry Kane has time on his side to chase Wayne Rooney's England goalscoring record, says manager Gareth Southgate, who believes team success matters more to the Tottenham striker.

Kane is set to win his 50th cap for the Three Lions on Sunday when England visit Belgium in the Nations League.

The Spurs star already has 32 goals to his name for his country, putting him 21 behind Manchester United legend Rooney.

Still only 27, Kane has a lot of international football ahead of him, giving him a clear opportunity to overhaul Rooney and cement his place as England's greatest ever goalscorer.

"In terms of what's possible, I think the goalscoring record is the real interesting one," Southgate told a media conference.

"His strike rate for us is quite phenomenal really. He's got time on his side to crack on and chase Wayne's record, which would be a remarkable feat in itself.

"I know from his perspective, whilst personal achievement is something he's driven towards he's all about the team winning now, he's been to a World Cup, won the Golden Boot, in the end you want to win as a team.

"He's totally focused on that and the team having success. He would want in the next few years to be able to look back on the team having achieved, as well as some of those personal milestones."

Asked about his favourite moment from his time coaching Kane for England, Southgate pointed to his injury-time equaliser against Scotland at Hampden Park during qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, where he went on to win the Golden Boot with six goals as the Three Lions reached the semi-finals.

"The equaliser at Hampden sticks in my mind, that was a very important goal for us at a critical moment," said Southgate.

"Of course, his goals at the World Cup, to win the Golden Boot is an incredible personal achievement.

"There have been so many. It's a special moment for him, we've had three or four players get to that 50-cap milestone in the last year or so, for all of them it's a fantastic achievement."

Gareth Southgate paid tribute to an inexperienced England side after they claimed a 3-0 friendly win over the Republic of Ireland.

With a Nations League double-header against Belgium and Iceland on the horizon, the Three Lions boss left out the likes of Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane at Wembley on Thursday evening.

Southgate instead went with a youthful team, with goalkeeper Nick Pope the oldest player at 28, while Jude Bellingham came on to make his England bow – becoming the third youngest debutant for the men's team, after Theo Walcott and Wayne Rooney.

He was nevertheless treated to an impressive showing from his fringe players, whose march to victory never looked in doubt.

Southgate told ITV: "I was really pleased with the way the boys played. 

"[With] a lot of young players, a lot of inexperienced players, we used the ball very well, created a lot of chances [and] it could have been more comfortable if we'd taken some of those chances. But overall, very pleased. 

"I think we were a bit slow at the start but that's understandable, it's not a team that has had a lot of time to work together. 

"The longer they went on, some of the interplay, some of the play between our attacking 10s and our wing-backs in particular was very good, especially down this left side: Bukayo [Saka], Jack [Grealish] and then Mason [Mount]. I was very pleased."

Grealish followed up an assist on his England debut with another on his second outing to take his tally to five goals and seven assists in 11 appearances for club and country this term.

It had been suggested that the 25-year-old was in a straight shootout with Mason Mount for a starting place in attacking midfield for the Three Lions but, after using both in the same team, Southgate dismissed that notion.

He added: "There are a lot of other players in the squad as well, so we've got great competition for places. 

"You saw them in two different roles today, they can both play in a few different roles, but I was pleased with the way we moved the ball."

As for Grealish himself, he is hoping that his withdrawal just past the hour mark bodes well for involvement against Belgium next up.

"Who knows? That's what I want to do, I want to play as much as possible and all I've got to do is try and impress the manager as much as I can," the Aston Villa captain said. 

"Since I've come in he's been brilliant with me on and off the pitch, speaking to me all the time, telling me what he wants me to do. 

"That's what I've tried to do and fingers crossed."

Grealish completed 89.7 per cent of 39 attempted passes, with 36 of those coming in Ireland's half, while he combined with Mount on 17 occasions in total.

He continued: "I think coming here and training with these guys day in, day out for two weeks, it just steps up everything about your game, it especially has with mine. 

"Just watching the way Harry [Kane], Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling are day to day and how they train. 

"In training you learn off these guys as well, so that's what I've been trying to do. I'm trying to take as much as I can from them and I think it's helped me."

England manager Gareth Southgate was concerned by the non-contact element of Joe Gomez's knee injury, which was confirmed as the player left the camp.

Following reports of an issue in training, the Football Association (FA) and Liverpool each announced Gomez had withdrawn from the England squad for the friendly with Republic of Ireland and the Nations League matches against Belgium and Iceland.

Gomez will undergo further diagnosis with Liverpool's medical team, the Premier League champions suffering another blow to a defence already hit by injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

It is further pressure on a back line that has conceded 16 goals in eight Premier League games this season, an average of two per match, having shipped 0.87 per game in their triumphant 2019-20 campaign.

Speaking at a media conference ahead of the Ireland match, Southgate said of Gomez's injury: "I can't tell you how serious it is because he’s yet to have scans.

"What was upsetting was to see he was in a fair bit of pain. There was nobody around him when the injury happened and I didn't like that element of it. 

"We've got to wait and see what the scans show. We're all hopeful for him that it's not what it looks like it might be."

It has been a tumultuous week for the FA, which has seen chairman Greg Clarke resign from his post.

Clarke stepped down after receiving heavy criticism for his use of the term "coloured footballers" in a meeting with a parliamentary committee on Tuesday.

Asked to weigh in on Clarke's exit, Southgate replied: "The terminology he used in a number of areas was not acceptable.

"It doesn't reflect the view of the FA and doesn't reflect what we as a team stand for. I don't think he had any alternative but to take the decision he did and resign."

He added: "We had spoken positively about [diversity] the day before, so I felt it was necessary to explain that what happened yesterday wasn't acceptable and didn't represent what we stand for as a team.  

"[The FA] is as diverse an organisation as I've ever been a part of, so internally there was a lot of upset about what had been said and I think Greg recognised that, alongside the other challenges what he said yesterday brought about, the internal upset was massive.

"There have been messages in society all summer about educating ourselves and I think a lot of us have done that over the last six months in particular.

"As an organisation, we have to make change. We can't keep standing in front of the cameras talking about change."

Jurgen Klopp confirmed Trent Alexander-Arnold will not be available for England as he once again bemoaned the decision not to allow five substitutions in the Premier League.

Alexander-Arnold had to be substituted during the second half of Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Manchester City on Sunday, having suffered an apparent calf injury.

The full-back was due to be part of Gareth Southgate's England squad for games against the Republic of Ireland, Belgium and Iceland during the November international break.

However, Klopp has said Alexander-Arnold will not be available for those upcoming fixtures during a hectic schedule in a 2020-21 season that will climax with the delayed Euro 2020 tournament.

Premier League clubs voted down the use of five subs for this term, a rule that was utilised when the previous campaign resumed after the coronavirus-enforced break, much to the disappointment of the Reds boss.

"It's a lack of leadership," Klopp said in his post-match media conference. "[Premier League CEO] Richard Masters sold it completely wrong.

"It's not an advantage [to be able to use five substitutes], it's a necessity. It happens in other countries, it was sold completely wrong and now you have this situation.

"Trent will be out for England, will not be the last or only one Gareth will have to deal with either."

City counterpart Pep Guardiola echoed Klopp's views on the decision to revert back to three changes per team in the top tier, as taken at a shareholders meeting in September.

Asked about what he had discussed with the Liverpool manager at full-time, Guardiola – who used just one change during Sunday's clash – told Sky Sports: "We did not speak about the result. We spoke about how we have to fight again about five substitutions.

"Look, an international England player – Trent Alexander-Arnold – is injured. All around the world, five substitutions. Here, we believe we are more special and have only three.

"We don't protect the players. That's why it is a disaster. I will demand that we come back with five substitutions to help the players, the managers everywhere. If not, it is difficult to sustain it." 

Klopp also backed up Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's criticism of the schedule, the Manchester United boss having hit out at his side being made to feature in the early kick-off on Saturday just over 48 hours after returning from a Champions League fixture in Istanbul.

"We have to find solutions, it’s so tough and we need to play football but Wednesday night and 12:30pm (Saturday) must not be allowed," Klopp said.

"If the Tuesday teams are in contention for Saturday that's okay, but the Wednesday [teams] should not be in contention for those games.

"Tonight we lost Trent and I'm pretty sure Gareth is not fine. If we play the Euros, we will see who is involved in that."

England boss Gareth Southgate says Aaron Wan-Bissaka is not in his squad as he remains a step behind his rivals for a right-back spot.

The Three Lions are blessed with options in the position and the latest squad includes Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker and Reece James, as well as Arsenal duo Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Bukayo Saka, who can play as wing-backs.

Wan-Bissaka has impressed defensively since joining Manchester United from Crystal Palace for a reported £50million last year. In 2019-20, he won 80 tackles in the Premier League, 11 more than any other defender, and was only dribbled past by an opponent on 22 occasions.

By contrast, Alexander-Arnold was beaten 42 times by an opponent dribbling past him last season, but the Liverpool man's record-breaking 13 assists - the most by any defender in a Premier League season - underline the attacking qualities that Southgate favours.

To that end, Chelsea's James was included for this month's matches with the Republic of Ireland, Belgium and Iceland despite having to serve a one-match suspension in the Nations League.

"It's an area of the pitch where we are blessed," Southgate said. "Reece and Trent have both played as wing-backs as well as full-backs. They are in outstanding form and we are probably stronger there than in any other position.

"Aaron is a very good defender, one against one he's probably as good as I have seen, but I have to look at the balance of the team and currently there are players ahead of him."

Southgate also suggested he could speak to Jamie Vardy if the Leicester City striker continues his form until next year's Euro 2020 finals.

Vardy, 33, has scored seven goals this season to propel a strong Leicester start that included a 5-2 victory over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, where he got a hat-trick.

He retired from England duty after the World Cup in 2018 but said in March that he and Southgate "agreed the door would still be open for whatever reason" to a national team return.

"Jamie is playing as well as any forward in the country, there's no two ways about that," Southgate said. "We know exactly what he can bring, and he is probably benefiting from having a rest during international breaks rather than joining up with England.

"It would be another matter if we were going into a championship, but at the moment we are not."

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