England will be in ‘better place’ at Euro 2020 thanks to extra year’s preparation, says Gareth Southgate

Gareth Southgate watches on as England defeat Iceland

“Of course, we hope people will be able to travel to go away by that point but that is a bit of an unknown. The scheduling will be complicated but we have very good people for planning and physical periodisation and we’ll just have to adapt and adjust.

“It is less time than normal for a tournament but it is more time than we get for the regular camps and our time on the training pitch we use well, we feel the team develops well on the field and pick up the messages well. We back that up off the field with the meetings we have. You’d always like more time with the players but we’ll maximise what we’ve got.”

Read more: England’s Euro 2020 fixtures, full schedule, group, dates, fixtures and ticket details

What has most pleased Southgate has been the development of a proper squad. While it will give him some decisions to cut around 35 players to 23, the England manager feels that is essential in a season that will inevitably see injuries.

“We’ve always said this is why we need a squad,” he said. “This year will be the biggest advocate of that because we just don’t know who we will have for March or the end of the season. What we have got is some depth now back up by more youngsters we think can come through as well. So the long-term for England looks good, we’ve got to keep winning in the short-term and make sure we maximise this group now and the experienced players amongst them.”

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