No shoot-out test for England

Date published: Tuesday 9th June 2015 3:24

Southgate’s team will play their final warm-up game ahead of the European Championship finals when they face Belarus at Oakwell.

England began their preparations for the forthcoming tournament in the Czech Republic last week with a closed-doors game against the Republic of Ireland at St George’s Park.

After winning 3-1, they took part in a dummy shoot-out with their opponents and won 5-4, with all of their takers finding the net.

Doing the same thing following this week’s game in Barnsley with a crowd present would be more realistic in terms of comparing it to what they might face later in the month.

However, Southgate, who famously missed a penalty in a 1996 shoot-out with Germany in the semi-finals of the European Championships, has decided against the idea.

He is worried it might give representatives from competitive opponents Portugal, Sweden and Italy, who England face on June 18, 21 and 24 respectively, an edge.

Southgate said: “It was common sense to practice them against Ireland. 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 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 not expected to play against Belarus as he has just returned from a holiday after playing 51 competitive games for Tottenham last season.

Danny Ings should feature though and Southgate feels he is getting use of a player who is on a high following news on Monday he will join Liverpool from Burnley next month.

“He is excited. 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,” added Southgate.

“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.”

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