England boss Gareth Southgate explains World Cup worry about Phil Foden before Wales clash | Football | Sport

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Phil Foden has been backed to play a “big part” at the World Cup by Gareth Southgate. But there are few signs yet that the England manager is about to bow to public demand by giving the Manchester City starlet a longer runout against Wales.

Instead, he is worrying that fans clamouring for him to come in and set England’s tournament alight is asking too much of a 22-year-old. “We are really happy with Phil, we are really happy to have Phil,” Southgate said. “He is going to play a big part in this tournament, there is no doubt in my mind about that.

“We have just got really good players. Bukayo Saka has been an outstanding player in the league this year. Raheem Sterling has scored 20 goals in 80 caps for England. Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford are also in good form.

“He’s a great option for us in two or three different positions and he will have a big impact in games. But also we have to be careful because we are putting a lot of pressure on him now.

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“His club don’t do that, so there must be a reason for that. And he is 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.”

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