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Rio Ferdinand urges England manager Gareth Southgate to "be brave"

Rio Ferdinand urges Southgate to
© Reuters
Former England defender Rio Ferdinand urges manager Gareth Southgate to "be brave" in his team selection and tactics for their final Euro 2020 group game.

Former England centre-back Rio Ferdinand has urged Gareth Southgate to "be brave" in his team selection and tactics for their Euro 2020 clash with the Czech Republic.

Southgate has come under pressure for England's performance against Scotland last Friday, and some have questioned why he has not played Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho yet.

The 21-year-old enjoyed an impressive season with the German giants having scored 16 goals and provided 20 assists, but Southgate has been reserved in utilising the winger and justified his decision using Sancho's inexperience in the national side.

However, Ferdinand has challenged Southgate to trust the youngster, telling his FIVE YouTube Channel: "There's inexperienced players that haven't been to tournaments, they're everywhere. You go on what they've done at their club and the last three years, in terms of output, Sancho has been the second best player in terms of goal involvement over the last three years – and he's done it at Dortmund.

"So to think that you're talking about experience... he's played more games than Phil Foden at the top level as well as Mason Mount and Jude Bellingham. I just feel that sometimes as a manager you've got to be brave. You've got to be brave and don't err on the side of caution.

"In Southgate's own mind he's going to have to be brave because I think naturally he's a more conservative person. In his own mind he'll think he's being brave when we're sitting here going, 'Just play him!', because we've seen him play at the top level.

"But if you're sitting there as Gareth Southgate, you've got to go against your natural instinct."

England have already qualified for the last 16, but can top Group D with a win against the Czech Republic on Tuesday night.

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England manager Gareth Southgate celebrates after the match on June 13, 2021
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Thursday's key events

· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

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