Gareth Southgate: England must not rely solely on Jude Bellingham for Euro 2024 success

Gareth Southgate: England must not rely solely on Jude Bellingham for Euro 2024 success

Gareth Southgate insists England cannot rely on Jude Bellingham alone if they are going to win the Euros.

Friday night’s shock defeat by Iceland at Wembley has dampened expectations ahead of a tournament England have been tipped to win. 

Bellingham missed the game after enjoying time off following Real Madrid’s Champions League triumph and will return with a spring in his step — but the England manager warned that the 20-year-old isn’t going to win the Euros on his own.

‘We are not putting everything on Jude,’ said Southgate. ‘It is not his responsibility [to lift us]. It is for all of us to get the focus right, to make sure individually our mentality is right and as a coaching team we will make sure we are working on the areas that need to be better than they were here.

‘We’ve got a lot of good players and it is a collective thing to go and try to win this tournament. If we are relying on one person that isn’t going to be a team that wins.

Gareth Southgate admitted that England cannot rely on Jude Bellingham alone to win the Euros

20-year-old was rested on Friday as England suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Iceland

20-year-old was rested on Friday as England suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Iceland

‘He is, of course, a player with fabulous mentality and will have a big impact on the whole group but the biggest thing over the last couple of games — and everyone was happy after Monday night against Bosnia — is that we’ve never had the collective together on the pitch at the same time.

‘Maybe against Iceland it was a bit closer but there are still players we are finding out about and it really sharpens the focus of what we need to do leading into the game against Serbia.’

With England’s opening game just a week away now, there is work to be done and Southgate made his feelings clear to his players in the dressing room after the Iceland defeat.

‘I think we know that [defensive improvement is needed], it’s clear to see,’ admitted Luke Shaw, who is a major doubt to face Serbia. ‘Gareth made that very clear in the changing room. I’m not going to repeat what was said, but we know we need to be better. The mentality needs to be better — attitude, performance, everything.

‘Everyone in the dressing room knows we can be better. This [defeat] could have been the best thing to happen to us. It made us realise that going to Germany is not going to be an easy ride. It’s going to be very, very hard and it’s going to need a lot of determination from the team.’

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