Kieran Trippier has admitted he is fortunate to be retained in England’s squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Montenegro having endured injury issues and patchy form at Tottenham this season.
Gareth Southgate has selected three right-backs in his squad, with the impressive Crystal Palace defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka overlooked and, instead, retained in the under-21s. Trippier, a key member of the England side who reached the World Cup semi-finals last summer, has not featured at all since the north London derby against Arsenal at the beginning of March with injuries having taken their toll.
“I could have done a lot better this season,” said the Spurs defender. “I’ve picked up a lot of injuries and I’ll admit there have been games when I’ve looked back and thought: ‘I could have done this or that better.’ You know when you’ve had a bad game but it’s all about learning. There is a lot of competition – me, Trent [Alexander-Arnold], Kyle [Walker] – and you’ve got Wan-Bissaka playing really well for Palace.
“But I am here now, and I need to impress to try and start for England and do the best I can between now and the end of the season. People say coming back from the World Cup and going straight back into it again is the reason but I don’t think it is. You pick up injuries. It would have been nice to have an extra week or something but the season came around early, so you’ve just got to get on with it.”
Southgate is considering pairing Everton’s Michael Keane with Harry Maguire at the heart of England’s defence against the Czechs, in the absence of the injured John Stones, and held one-on-one meetings with his players at St George’s Park on Monday night. The squad are being supported by the performance psychologist Dr Ian Mitchell in their preparations with Dr Pippa Grange, who worked with England at the World Cup, set to leave the FA.
Mitchell was formerly with Swansea City and a member of Chris Coleman’s backroom staff in the Wales setup but has been with the FA since February 2018.
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