Ryan Bertrand says England World Cup snub is 'hard to take'

Our World Cup countdown continues as we look at the 2014 quarter-finalists                                       Our World Cup countdown continues as we look at the 2014 quarter

Our World Cup countdown continues as we look at the 2014 quarter-finalists Our World Cup countdown continues as we look at the 2014 quarter

Everton's Jordan Pickford and Stoke goalkeeper Jake Butland are expected to battle it out for a starting place in England's opening World Cup Group G match against Tunisia on June 18 but Pope was happy he had the opportunity to impress Gareth Southgate. A nice problem to have, says Max Liu, as he discusses the big questions in attack and defence.

England play Costa Rica in an global friendly before the World Cup 2018 in Russian Federation. "We've a decision to make for the first game".

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live, Southgate said: 'Marcus is desperate to do well and we said to him and all the players we were expecting mistakes to be made. There were connections with United's ever-productive academy today - Danny Rose and Fabian Delph, the latter very much amongst friends in these parts - but the last England squad to play here back in 2002 included three players who were drawing a wage at Elland Road.

Has Rashford's goal sealed his played in starting XI?

Playing alongside Vardy, eventual man of the match Rashford was bright, energetic and risky throughout - which gives Southgate something to think about ahead of the Tunisia opener.

Rashford had a disappointing end to United's Premier League season, and Southgate felt he may have been trying too hard.

Over the course of last season, Mourinho opted to play Romelu Lukaku as his only striker.

However, both started the Three Lions' friendly victory against Nigeria at Wembley last weekend, and Lingard believes they can thrive as a potent pair in Russian Federation when the tournament gets underway.

But it's not as straight forward as that.

Of course it is an easier job when the main requirement is simply not to make a fool of yourself, but Southgate has proved himself extremely good at walking down the street without tripping over and if England have even a moderate World Cup, it may pave the way for future success.

But against Costa Rica, Rashford looked relaxed and confident on the ball, utilising his electric pace in the right moments but also toying with defenders as he stood on the ball out wide. Dier played that anchoring role against Nigeria and Henderson, wearing the captain's armband, filled it against Costa Rica.

Southgate's youthful 23-man squad may only have 11 World Cup appearances between them heading to Russian Federation but the manager is keen for the players to show their vast array of talents, and not worry about making mistakes.

Southgate has provided a fresh outlook, with England's players encouraged to mix with the press and speak openly about their hopes and fears.

"I played left midfield in a Champions League final for Chelsea".

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