Marcus Rashford: England star sends message to Gareth Southgate and Jose Mourinho

Marcus Rashford: England star sends message to Gareth Southgate and Jose Mourinho

Stones started in the middle of Gareth Southgate's preferred back three between Harry Maguire and Phil Jones and was only troubled once in an assured display before being replaced by Gary Cahill in the 65th minute.

England are not only one of the youngest in the tournament - only France and Nigeria have younger squads - they have the fewest caps of any squad.

On the evidence of last night's performance, though, Costa Rica will find it very hard to repeat their heroics of 2014 when they reached the quarter-finals.

"Why would I limit what they feel is possible?"

However, Rashford's impressive performance in Leeds convinced a host of former England players and managers that the 20-year-old Manchester United forward should be picked ahead of Raheem Sterling. Southgate acknowledged concerns about a lack of experience but claimed it was outweighed by the benefits.

"It's different now. I think if you asked every single player what the difference is now they would say that we are prepared as a team for every scenario".

Southgate is keen for the players to show their vast array of talents, and not worry about making mistakes.

"We could go through 11 of those on the basis of what we saw in this game, and that's critical because we won't progress on 11 players chosen in the first game". He has encouraged the squad to tell their backstories to each other to improve cohesion on the pitch but also to improve the public image of the team. Southgate said he was delighted to have such competition for places. "As a team, we are hugely supportive of what he's done".

Image    Rashford scored a stunning 25-yard strike
Image Rashford scored a stunning 25-yard strike

"The way the boss has prepared this time has helped the lads".

"What we want is, and I'm not going to give you a stage in the tournament. but, I'm going to give it away slightly, we haven't won a knockout game since 2006", the FA's chief executive Martin Glenn told the Daily Telegraph.

The 47-year-old urged his side to forget about the past and make history in Russian Federation.

Rio Ferdinand has backed Manchester United attacker Marcus Rashford to enjoy "a breakthrough tournament" for England at the 2018 World Cup.

"We've looked at (Kane with Vardy) in training and at the moment we've not gone with it", he said.

Regardless of whether he has been actively involved in the game or is playing well you always fancy him to find the back of the net if half a chance arrives.

"They've made a conscious effort to get the fans on their side, there's harmony", he said. But manager Gareth Southgate is a big admirer of Jack Butland and could be tempted to offer one last chance to the Stoke man.

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