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Southgate sees Podgorica mission as “education” for his young players

England boss says his team can learn from intimidating environment.

Gareth Southgate is braced for a frenzied atmosphere in Montenegro (Nick Potts/PA)
Gareth Southgate is braced for a frenzied atmosphere in Montenegro (Nick Potts/PA)

Gareth Southgate says he will have no hesitation about throwing his young

stars into the potentially-intimidating environment of Monday night’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Montenegro.

Steven Gerrard and Ashley Cole were verbally abused and targeted with missiles when England travelled to Podgorica for a World Cup qualifier in 2013 and a similarly tough atmosphere is expected.

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Gareth Southgate will have “no hesitation” playing the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi against Montenegro (Joe Giddens/PA)

But Southgate said at a press conference: “This is part of their education and
to be a top team we’ve got to adapt to every environment we go into.

“Friday at Wembley is always a different experience to going away from home in a qualifier, which is always difficult. But the only way the team can learn and
improve is by going through these experiences.”

Meanwhile midfielder Jordan Henderson shrugged off the potential milestone of  achieving his 50th England cap in the match.

Henderson said: “I’m proud to play for my country but the type of person I am,
I’ll not really think about it too much.

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Jordan Henderson is unfazed by the prospect of winning his 50th England cap (Nick Potts/PA)

“Maybe I’ll think about it when I finish my career but at the moment I just
want to concentrate on doing the best for my team.

“When I finish my career or my England career, then I can look back and decide if it was good or not.”

PA

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