Southgate proposes potential mock shoot-out in friendlies

Date published: Monday 13th November 2017 8:36

Gareth Southgate is considering pre-World Cup penalty shoot-outs in a bid to rid England of their spot-kick woes.

The Three Lions have a horror record when games go to penalties, losing seven knock-out matches from 12 yards.

Their woeful run started against West Germany at Italia 90 and has continued apace, even spreading to the England Women and Under-21 sides.

Southgate knows about the horrors more than most, with his kick being the one that saw England exit Euro 96 at the semi-final stage.

And, as the manager prepares his side for the World Cup in Russia, he may look to bring in dress rehearsals ahead of the main event.

“It’s something that we are considering and how we prepare best for penalty shoot-outs,” he said.

“Whether that’s something on the training ground, whether that’s in sessions we do away from the training ground or something we do in some sort of match scenario, we’ve not finalised things like that yet. But clearly that is an option.”

For any game that does go to penalties, Southgate will need a goalkeeper upon whom he can rely.

Joe Hart has been that man not just for Southgate but predecessor Roy Hodgson too, but finds himself under scrutiny with the likes of Jack Butland and Jordan Pickford waiting in the wings.

Pickford made his debut against Germany on Friday – starting after Butland dropped out through injury – but Hart will return against Brazil on Tuesday.

“Jordan had an excellent game. Good experience for him, we can wrap him up now, he can go back, we assess him now in the next period with his club and good that he goes away with a real positive experience,” Southgate said.

“Now’s an opportunity for Joe to have experience against top opposition as well and we’re all aware that there’s really good competition for places in that area of the pitch.”


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