England will miss ‘absolute soldier’ Kieran Trippier due to FA betting hearing, says Gareth Southgate

Southgate was more forthcoming about the qualities that England will be without against Denmark due to Trippier’s absence.

“I said after the game, he’s an absolute soldier for us, really,” he told talkSPORT.

“He’s a kid who since he worked with us has given absolutely everything, he’s had a huge impact on big matches and, you know, his defending, the grittiness of his defending the other day, was a key component in what was a very strong backline and a strong defensive performance that had to be.

“You know, he was up against (Thomas) Meunier, who is an absolute giant in terms of both stature compared to Kieran but also the way he played, and he had to stand up to that challenge, so, yeah, 100 percent we miss him.

“But it’s an opportunity for somebody else. We consistently have had to look for alternatives.

“It’s very rare that we have a full squad to pick from – very, very rare. In fact, I can hardly remember there being an occasion where we have, and very often we’re having to do without two or three key players.

“It was the same on Sunday and we got the result. We’ve got to do the same on Wednesday.”

Southgate believes “the sign of a good team is to be able to back up a big result” as England look to beat Denmark days after overcoming Belgium.

Harry Kane came on with a third of Sunday’s match remaining having endured a stop-start week of preparation due to muscle fatigue.

Reports have subsequently emerged of a possible club-versus-country row with Tottenham over the star’s fitness, but such talk has baffled Three Lions boss Southgate.

“I’m puzzled by the furore, really,” he added. “We have spoken medically to medically (between respective departments) as we do with every player if ever they miss training.

“There are conversations on every player with every club pre-camp so we know exactly the condition.

“In the camp there is constant communications between all the medical teams.

“When Harry missed a couple of days last week, everybody was across that. Everybody knew the plan. We know there’s no injury.”


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