Gareth Southgate has an array of attacking talent to choose from in San Marino
Gareth Southgate is looking for his players to replicate the sort of form shown on the training pitch this week when they take on San Marino on Thursday night.
The England Under-21s head coach has been impressed with the way his squad have worked since meeting up last weekend as they prepare the first of two Euro qualifiers in Serravalle.
And given the number of attacking options and in-form players he has in his squad, Southgate knows he faces some tough choices when it comes down to selecting his team.
After training in San Marino on Wednesday night, he told TheFA.com: “I’ve been really pleased with the sharpness of the players, the training has been very competitive and quality with the players asking lots of questions of each other in the way that they’ve trained.
“There’s real competition for places and I think everybody knows that. That makes my job difficult, but it’s a nice decision to have because I’m not looking around thinking that we’re short of talent.
“There’s a lot of potential in this squad as I’ve said all along and hopefully we can transfer what I’ve seen on the training pitch this week into the two matches.”
After starting their Euro campaign last month with a win and a draw against Moldova and Finland, Southgate is now looking to push on in the group with six points from the next two games.
And he’s been further encouraged by the growing spirit amongst his squad following a productive few days at St. George’s Park and in northern Italy.
“They should be enjoying their football and I think that’s what we’ve tried to create in the way that we train and work,” he added.
“They enjoy each other’s company and they’re getting louder all the time which is good to hear, so they’re starting to mould as a group.”
Watch the full interview with Southgate in the video player below or to the right, along with footage of the squad in training this week.