England manager Gareth Southgate says he is not satisfied with the overall quality of his latest squad as he believes some players are fortunate to have been included.
The 47-year-old has named a 26-man party for the next month’s World Cup qualifiers against Slovenia and Lithuania, with the Three Lions needing just a point to be assured of a place at next summer’s finals in Russia.
However, Southgate has been unable to call upon a number of squad regulars, with the likes of Danny Rose, Adam Lallana, Danny Welbeck and Jamie Vardy all missing through injury, and he concedes he is not satisfied with the overall quality of his squad.
“If you were to say ‘am I entirely happy with the squad I’ve named?’ then no, because we’ve got too many good players missing with injury,” Southgate said.
The former Middlesbrough boss believes some members of his squad are slightly fortunate to have earned a call-up, as their form at club level has not been great.
“The consequence of that is you could well argue there are one or two in the squad who haven’t necessarily warranted it on their performances,” he added.
“I want competition for places and this time maybe we’ve not be able to achieve that, because of the number of injuries.”
Barring a complete collapse England are expected to seal their place at the World Cup next month and they are priced at 21.00 to claim overall glory in Russia.