No penalties for England at Oakwell


Published: Tuesday 9th June 2015 by The News Editor

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Gareth Southgate will resist the urge to put his England Under-21 side through a public penalty test on Thursday when they play their final warm-up game before they head to the European Championship.

The Young Lions began their preparations for the tournament last week with a behind-closed-doors friendly against the Republic of Ireland at St George’s Park.

England won the match 3-1 and then took part in a dummy penalty shoot-out, which they won 5-4 after all of their penalty-takers found the net.

The team play their final friendly on Thursday against Belarus at Oakwell, but Southgate will not ask his players to participate in another penalty shoot-out.

The presence of a crowd would make the experience more genuine, but Southgate is worried scouts will be there from opposition countries they will face at the Euros and he does not want them stealing his secrets.

“It was common sense to practice them (against Ireland),” said the England Under-21 coach, who famously missed for the seniors against Germany in Euro ’96.

“That’s not just because of my own experience. Anyone would do it for a cup tie. I did it when I was manager of Middlesbrough.

“We thought it was a good to do it within a game situation and in an ideal world we would do it again on Thursday, but then it would be filmed, and the opposition could get it.”

Harry Kane is unlikely to feature at Barnsley as he has just returned from holiday following a long season with Tottenham.

The 21-year-old played 51 competitive games for Spurs last term and then had to take part in two post-season friendlies in Malaysia and Australia.

“It’s unlikely that he will start on Thursday as he will have had only two days’ training by then,” Southgate added.

“We have to think what is right for the next two weeks for him.”

As well as Kane, Southgate has Saido Berahino and Danny Ings in his squad. The trio scored 46 Premier League goals between them last season.

Southgate hopes Ings will go the Czech Republic on a high after recently agreeing a move to Liverpool.

“He is excited,” Southgate said of the 22-year-old.

“He is a player we like a lot. He has grown with us. He is always wanting to learn and always wanting to improve. It’s a great opportunity for him.

“After this summer, he is only eligible for the seniors and he will face new experiences like European football.

“He has proven he can score goals in the Premier League with a side that didn’t create as many chances as Liverpool.

“We have got three strikers ready for the tournament, who performed outstandingly well in the Premier League.

“We are very fortunate to have strikers with that work ethic and desire.

“I played with goalscorers who felt it was just about them. These boys are not like that.”

Published: Tuesday 9th June 2015 by The News Editor

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