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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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