Southgate calls for ’emotional control’ against Scotland

Date published: Monday 7th November 2016 10:43

Gareth Southgate has said he wants his England players to have cool heads when they face Scotland at Wembley on Friday night.

The Scots have made a poor start to their World Cup qualifying campaign with four points from their opening three games, but Southgate still wants his table-toppers to be on their guard.

“Whatever happened with their results, it does not reflect their performances,” Southgate said.

“Their mentality for a game like this is unquestionable and they have unquestionable spirit. We will have to better that and outplay them to win the game.

“We have to have emotional control going into the game. It is important our players have an understanding of the history of the game. It is the oldest international fixture. We will make sure if the players don’t know about it, that they are made aware of it in the early part of the week.”

Southgate also said he will check on the fitness of Harry Kane before considering him for a start against Scotland and is confident his squad can cope with the loss of fellow Tottenham star Dele Alli.

Striker Kane returned to action after seven weeks out with ankle trouble in Spurs’ 1-1 draw at Arsenal on Sunday, scoring an equaliser from the penalty spot.

Southgate admitted he would love to start Kane against Gordon Strachan’s men but will make sure he is fully fit.

He added: “I think the first thing we have to do with Harry is check how he is after yesterday.

“I think Spurs, maybe with Dele missing as well, took a decision for what was a very big game for them. Of course we have a big game ourselves and will have to see what level he’s at when he reports.

“But it was great to see him back and scoring and with a smile on his face at the end of the game.”

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