England boss Southgate happy to throw young Lions into fray against Brazil


Good experience for him, we can wrap him up now, he can go back, we assess him now in the next period with his club and good that he goes away with a real positive experience, " Southgate said.

Southgate also said he is getting closer to piecing together England's "big jigsaw" ahead of the World Cup. "But sometimes the first game is easier because nobody is aware of you". Southgate added that Tottenham's Eric Dier will again captain the side.

A string of injury setbacks changed Southgate's "objectives" for the Brazil matchup, but also offered the chance to give young talent a chance to prove their worth.

Southgate famously missed from the spot against Germany in Euro 96, allowing himself to be lampooned in a pizza advert alongside Chris Waddle and Stuart Pearce, who both fluffed penalties in the 1990 World Cup semi-final against Germany.

"There might be some who are here now but might be in that same situation [out] in March, so I don't think it can be as clear cut as that".

"It's a different sort of challenge for us, which you'd expect against a team who have annihilated everyone they've faced in South American qualification, the hardest way to reach the finals".

"But, as I say, fitness and form can come into it".

Gone are proven, experienced performers like Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney, replaced by potential and fresh hope.

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"However, I think it's exciting".

"We have to be tactically prepared to make sure we're ready for the game, but equally their attacking players have individual technical qualities and speed and acceleration that our individuals have to be able to cope with".

"Brazil are well down the road in knowing their best team, they have some outstanding individuals and an enormous physical presence", he said.

"It's incredible - he's had so few 90-minute appearances in the league and we put him in but he did well and we believe in him".

"We have to have a plan for that, we have to take into consideration the new format that might be involved". It's a good time to be a young England player.

England manager Gareth Southgate is thinking of putting his team through a mock penalty shootout before a Wembley crowd in an attempt to overcome their traditional nerves at major competitions.

Against him will be Neymar, who Southgate singled out to be an obvious threat.

Southgate is pursuing a policy of building a leadership group rather than name one captain alone and has chose to stick with Dier for Tuesday's showdown with the five-time World Cup winners. "They've got good pedigree, and we won't hesitate to put them on the pitch".