Southgate glad to see games and goals from his Young Lions

Thursday 13 Feb 2014
Southgate is pleased to see members of his squad getting games

Gareth Southgate has been encouraged to see an increasing number of his England Under-21s squad playing more regularly for their club sides this term.

In previous seasons, many of the Under-21s squad have struggled to find consistent first-team appearances with their parent clubs and left to impress in the reserve and academy teams or been forced to head out on loan.

But from the current crop, head coach Southgate has been spoilt for choice this season and has even found it hard to see all of his players in action with their clubs at times.


England U21s v Wales U21s

UEFA European Championship Qualifier
6pm, Wednesday 5 March 2014
iPro Stadium, Derby County
Live on BT Sport



"A lot of people assume that players aren’t playing enough football and that’s always been the debate, but we’ve got several who are,” explained Southgate.

"If you look at Will Hughes, Luke Shaw, Danny Ings, there are quite a lot of players who are playing in virtually every game for their club.

"Luke and Will are the two youngest players in our squad so in terms of their physical maturity, there’s still a lot of growth going on.

"We’re always assessing all of that and that’s why regular discussions with the clubs are so important.

"But the more regular football they get, the better prepared they are and the more they learn."

Southgate is also pleased with the striking options at his disposal, with a number of players proving themselves in front of goal every week.

With Burnley’s Danny Ings currently second in the Championship goals chart, Saido Berahino breaking through at West Bromwich Albion and Pat Bamford now catching the eye with Derby County, there’s no shortage of goalscoring ability in the squad.

And that’s something which has come as a bonus for Southgate, who acknowledges that a dearth in strikers was one of his initial worries at the start of the campaign.

"When I first took over, there was worry that we had a shortage of strikers," he admitted.

"But now we have Saido who had a good first half of the season and Danny Ings who is the top scorer in the Championship.

"We haven’t even been able to call up Connor Wickham, who had a good spell at Sheffield Wednesdsay.

England Under-21s pair Danny Ings and Raheem Sterling celebrate a goal against San Marino.

Danny Ings has been amongst the goals for England and Burnley this season


"Harry Kane has also scored goals for us, but hasn’t been playing first team football at the moment whilst Will Keane is still coming back to fitness, so there’s real competition for places."

Southgate’s side are next in action at Derby County’s iPro Stadium on Wednesday 5 March, when they face Wales in their next Euro qualifier.

You can buy tickets for the game with Wales at the iPro Stadium now. Tickets for the game will go on sale from 9am on Tuesday 3 December 2013, priced at just £10 for Adults and £5 for U18s.

These can be purchased in person from the Digonex Ticket Office, by calling 0871 472 1884 (option 1) or by visiting

By Nicholas Veevers Content Manager - FA Owned Channels