Southgate’s in it for the long haul with England

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Much anticipation surrounded the potential promotion of teenagers Sancho and Mount following their fine starts to the season at Borussia Dortmund and Derby County respectively.

GARETH SOUTHGATE admitted he could not turn his back on the "huge honour" of being England manager after signing a new deal yesterday.

One element of Southgate's leadership to come in for particular praise has been a continued faith in young players over more experienced campaigners who are unlikely to contribute a great deal in the long run. "I'm always trying to find that balance, the messaging has to be correct, but it's good for their development to see how they train with us".

Borussia Dortmund have extended the contract with England's U-19 worldwide Jadon Sancho ahead of schedule, the "BVB" confirmed in an official statement on Wednesday.

"I'm really pleased we are able to have that stability and it's important that we connect all the junior teams to that", Southgate told reporters.

The 18-year-old Sancho was called up having already played in the Champions League for German club Dortmund, with Mount rewarded for some strong displays at English second-tier club Derby after joining on loan from Premier League giants Chelsea.

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With England, Sancho has won Federation Internationale de Football Association U-17 World Cup in 2017 the UEFA European Under-17 Championship Golden Player and was part of the Team of the Tournament. "He's been fearless enough to go overseas and play", added Southgate. The selection of Sancho and Mount, as well as set-piece specialist Maddison, is Southgate's way of confronting that problem.

England kicked-off their UEFA Nation League campaign to a bad start as Southgate's men lost at home to Spain.

However, Southgate recalled the time nine years ago when former FA chairman Greg Dyke installed a countdown clock to 2022 in a left-field bid to inspire England to win the tournament.

Elsewhere, with injuries to Dele Alli, Jesse Lingard, Fabian Delph and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ross Barkley has squirrelled his way back into an England squad for the first time returns since May 2016.

Fulham keeper Marcus Bettinelli, Southampton counterpart Alex McCarthy and Watford midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah are the other uncapped players.

"Experiencing at first-hand how the nation united behind the team this summer was something special", Southgate said, "and it will be great to see how far this young squad can go in the years to come".

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