Rashford, Lingard get England calls by new coach Southgate

Sam Allardyce From disgraced England coach to Minnesota United leader?          Wikipedia

Sam Allardyce From disgraced England coach to Minnesota United leader? Wikipedia

England interim boss Gareth Southgate has named his first squad ahead of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia, with Stoke full-back Glen Johnson the biggest retro-surprise in the list. His withdrawal had already been confirmed after he went off limping and clutching his groin against Swansea at the weekend.

Rashford returns to the squad after featuring for the Under-21s last time out, scoring a hat-trick on his debut, in a 6-1 win over Norway in September.

Scotland and Lithuania are the other two sides that make up the group.

Southgate has been put in charge for four matches after Allardyce, was sacked after just 67 days in the job for behaving "inappropriately" as he sought a lucrative sideline role while talking to undercover reporters in a national newspaper sting.

His absence created room for Oxlade-Chamberlain, while Bertrand and Johnson cover the full-back positions vacated by Luke Shaw (groin tear and throat infection) and Nathaniel Clyne (knee injury).

The Red Devils pair were the eye-catching names, having fought their way into Jose Mourinho's starting XI at Old Trafford, while Stoke's Glen Johnson, Southampton's Ryan Bertrand and Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also returned for the matches at home to Malta and away to Slovenia.

Southgate was without goalkeeper Jack Butland, defender Nathaniel Clyne, midfielder Adam Lallana and striker Harry Kane, who are all injured.

Southgate, explaining his maiden selection, told FATV: "We've tried to keep some continuity from last month because my view would be a lot of things have been going right". That's had a bearing on the squad.

"It's obviously been a hard week in a number of ways", Southgate said.

"I'm looking forward now to working with the players because it's important that we build on the performance and the result against Slovakia".

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