Gareth Southgate sends Phil Foden warning ahead of Wales clash

Southgate is worried about the attention surrounding Foden
Southgate is worried about the attention surrounding Foden / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Gareth Southgate has revealed that he's worried the widespread calls for Phil Foden to play will put too much pressure on the 22-year-old.

Foden came off the bench in England's opening World Cup match - their 6-2 victory over Iran - but didn't play at all in their 0-0 draw with USA.

Many criticised Southgate for that, feeling the Manchester City player could've been the player the team needed to break the deadlock and add some creativity to what was a dull display going forward.

Since then, calls have only grown for Foden to be included from the start against Wales, and this is concerning Southgate.

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"We have to be careful because we are putting a lot of pressure on him now," he said.

"We’re a team and we need all of the players and they can all play a part but not any one of them is the reason we will win or lose.

"We need to make sure we are not building Phil into a situation where actually if he steps on the pitch this is becoming really difficult for him because the level of expectation is beyond a young guy who is still establishing himself internationally, in a different environment from his club where you’re comfortable with all the players you play with, it’s really distinctive, you’re going home every night, you’re calm with everything else.

"This is still a unique environment. He is still a really young player and he’s doing brilliantly well and we love him to bits. We also have got to look after him a bit as well."