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Foden thanks Southgate for keeping faith in him after double against Iceland

Best of friends

Much criticism had gone Gareth Southgate’s way for operating in too much of a passive fashion and not enough impetuses on offensive play. The 4-0 rout of Iceland will go some way to gaining support and momentum.

Declan Rice and Mason Mount started the game together and both scored. The highly-regarded West Ham midfielder Rice spoke of his happiness after the game for himself and his lifelong friend.

“We have been best mates since we were eight years old. We have seen each others’ journeys and seen each other grow.

“Before the game when we knew we were playing in midfield together, that was a special moment, and then to score in the same game was incredible. I know my family and his family will be bursting with pride at home.”

The possibility of Rice and Mount playing together more in the future could take place at club level. Chelsea have reportedly shown significant interest in bringing Rice to Stamford Bridge. With Mount possibly a key factor in Rice’s decision should the offer be made.

Foden thanks Southgate

Foden’s double represents a strong turnaround for the Manchester City midfielder. Sent home from the reverse fixture in Reykjavik for breaking quarantine rules, the 20-year-old lashed home his second to cap off a brilliant performance.

Speaking after the game, the City youngster was full of praise for coach Southgate.

“It was one of the hardest moments of my life. That’s the time you need the trust of your managers and Gareth had a lot of respect for me, to trust me to play tonight,” Foden said recalling the events from Iceland.

“I am just happy to repay him with the goals and play well. I was just determined to get back and do the best I can. I was a bit nervous at the start but I got used to it.”

The scorers Mount, Foden and Rice were all of 21 years-of-age and under which represents the youth blossoming throughout the England side. Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho provide further evidence as very exciting prospects for Southgate.

After the humbling from Belgium, it was evident changes in the system were needed and on the evidence of the performance, things have changed very quickly.

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