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Declan Rice apologises for ‘Up the Ra’ Instagram comments

22 March 2019

"I'll go and just make sure he knows that firstly, that he's OK and that he's supported", Southgate added.

Gareth Southgate said he will not hesitate to start Jadon Sancho or Callum Hudson-Odoi in England's upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers after confirming that Marcus Rashford has withdrawn from the squad due to injury.

Yes and no. On paper, the Czech Republic are the best of England's opponents in group A. But that is not saying much in a weak group that includes Bulgaria, Montenegro and Kosovo.

But Southgate said it would not affect his chances of using him tonight, with Rice likely to start on the bench. Southgate said that both Sancho and his fellow 18-year-old Callum Hudson-Odoi both had his confidence that they would be ready if he needed either to start the game. "He's fitted in really well with the team".

"Throughout the age groups they've been very similar in their development".

Speaking at the time, he said: "Like so many people around the world, I consider myself to be of mixed nationality".

"I've just got to look forward and forget about the past".

'I think regardless of where the tournament is played, we want to be consistently reaching the latter stages of competitions and knocking on the door, ' he said. Other countries have this issue. I think we should have a bigger pool because for young kids joining the English academies, there should be the dream of being a professional player.

London-born Rice won three global caps for the Republic of Ireland during friendlies, but switched allegiance last month and declared himself eligible to play for England instead.

"They've flourished and all of a sudden you've got some outstanding players that you might not have recognised".

"But sometimes, when the pool is smaller, which is going to be the case for England whilst I'm the England manager, then you have to be a bit more creative in the way you think and you have to approach things and solve the problem in a different way".

'That's a great benchmark for us, and with the quality of young players coming through, there is no reason we should allow those standards to drop, because there's real competition for places.

Declan Rice apologises for ‘Up the Ra’ Instagram comments