Friday, June 14, 2024

Gareth Southgate handed injury boost ahead of England’s Euro 2024 opener

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England boss Gareth Southgate watched on as defender John Stones took part in a full training session while Luke Shaw continued to progress with his rehabilitation

John Stones (L) took part in a full training session for England after his injury scare(The FA via Getty Images)

John Stones has given England a huge fitness boost and is proving his “elite mentality” ahead of the Euros.

Manchester City defender Stones took part in a full training session and will be fit for England’s Group opener with Serbia on Sunday. Stones, 30, had to go off at half-time of England’s friendly defeat to Iceland last Friday and was a major worry ahead of their Euros campaign.

But England team-mate Anthony Gordon says he has no doubt that Stones will play against Serbia and says his quality will be vital to their chances. Gordon said: “As I said after the match, I was a bit worried when he went down because he’s such a big player for us but he’s fine. He’s got an elite mentality, so I’ve had faith in him.

“It’s really important. We want everyone as fit and healthy as possible going into the tournament so we can perform our best.”

Full-back Luke Shaw did take part in the hour-long open session in front of around 500 locals in Jena which is close to England’s training base. But Shaw ended training wearing a green coloured bib to ensure no-one tackled him as he did not take part in full contact work and looks certain to miss the Serbia game.

But Gordon says Shaw is on the “right path” and said: “Yes, he looked like that. He’s back in training now and doing really well. I did a bit of my rehab with him and he was way far ahead of schedule. He was doing great, which is good.

“I’d love to start but I’ll be ready no matter what. What I‘m asked to do, I’ll be ready.” Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate, whose contract expires in December, has also admitted that he will probably leave his job unless he guides England to glory this summer.

Luke Shaw took part in training but looks unlikely to play in England’s opener(PA)

But Gordon says the players all want him to stay. Gordon added: “From a selfish point I would want him to stay. I love working with him and his staff. From my youth journey with England, the way they have transitioned the whole set-up from youth to senior level has been absolutely amazing and I don’t think they get the credit he deserves.”

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