Southgate issues concern before England’s clash against North Macedonia

Gareth Southgate

Gareth Southgate issues concern over the pitch before England’s clash against North Macedonia as it was previously described as “dangerous”.

The Three Lions will take on North Macedonia in the last match of Euro 2024 qualification on Monday night. Southgate’s men already through to the competition as a winner of Group C after recent 2:0 victory against Malta.

However ahead of the clash, there is growing concern over over the playing conditions at the National Arena Todor Proeski Stadium. Italy Striker Ciro Immobile described the pitch as “dangerous” back in September.

Speaking in the pre-match press-conference, Southgate is concerned about player’s fitness due to unsuitable playing conditions. He said :-

“There will be that without a pitch (issue) or not! No, we wouldn’t take any chances with players. I know they’ve relaid it. I would imagine it hasn’t quite knitted, but we’ll see.

“That’s why you want to make sure you’re qualified well in advance. We said that right at the start of the qualifying campaign, you’re never quite sure what you’re going to get away from home.

“We play a team who, although they can’t qualify, have tremendous pride and they’ll be wounded by what happened in Manchester.

“Team needs to be ready for a really good atmosphere. Full crowd, full stadium. We’ve had a calendar year where we’ve been very good, so we want to finish well.”

Southgate also states about growing concern over the LB position

Gareth Southgate is currently suffering a injury setback over the LB position in his squad. However, Keiran Trippier returning to action for Newcastle United can be a major boost for the manager.

Discussing the setback, Southgate said :-

“Rico is an option. He’s a versatile player. I’m really pleased with how he’s trained, he’s settled really well. He’s very comfortable with the ball.

“He’s played there a few times for City. Him and Cole Palmer are here because we believe in them and we wouldn’t hesitate to put him in.

“Sometimes with young players it’s great for their development to play different positions and in a couple of years maybe that will be a little bit clearer.”

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