MX23RW : Tuesday, February 19 07:20:15

Harry Maguire hails "brave" Gareth Southgate for rotating squad

Maguire hails
© Reuters
England centre-back Harry Maguire believes that Gareth Southgate's decision to make eight changes against Belgium will prove to be "the right decision".

Harry Maguire has hailed manager Gareth Southgate as "brave" for his decision to make eight changes to England's starting lineup against Belgium.

The Three Lions heavily rotated their side for the 1-0 loss in Kaliningrad on Thursday night, having already made certain of a place in the last 16 of the World Cup.

Southgate's team selection was met with a mixed response, particularly after his side's 12-match unbeaten run came to an end, but Maguire - one of those to drop out of the XI - is hopeful that the big call will pay off against Colombia in the last 16.

"He's a brave manager and he makes big decisions in big times," he is quoted as saying by Sky Sports News. "You can say he is brave but so is [Belgium manager] Roberto Martinez - he also made a number of changes (9). I think they were both probably looking at the bigger picture and know that the next game is the biggest one of them all.

"Gareth is a man of great knowledge. He fills you with confidence no matter what decision is made. We all trust him as a group and hopefully it's the right decision in the long run. It's only a good decision if we go and put in a performance in the next game and qualify for the quarter-finals."

England will face either Switzerland or Sweden in the quarter-finals should they overcome Colombia in the first knockout round.


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England's Dele Alli with manager Gareth Southgate after the match against Nigeria on June 2, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

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