Marcus Rashford remains "under consideration" for an England recall, though Gareth Southgate conceded the lack of game-time for several key players is "not ideal".

In the last national squad before the Qatar 2022 World Cup, there was no place for Manchester United attacker Rashford and club-mate Jadon Sancho.

Rashford is, however, struggling with a muscular problem. The 25-year-old has been in strong for this season, scoring three Premier League goals in six appearances.

A maiden call-up for Brentford attacker Ivan Toney and a recall for Tottenham's Eric Dier were among the more eye-catching inclusions by Southgate, who stressed the door is not shut for those others seeking a return to the fold in time to make the World Cup squad.

"There were certain players we wanted to keep involved this time, but that said, it doesn't mean that this is the end for some of the others who aren't involved," he stated.

"Marcus Rashford, for example, has shown some encouraging signs recently. He is a player we know well so if he can perform at a high level in the next few weeks, he of course will be under consideration."

Several of Southgate's regular squad members made the cut, such as United duo Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw, alongside Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips, all of whom have struggled for minutes this season.

Their crucial impact on last year's Euro 2020 campaign, however, has swayed Southgate, though he acknowledged it is not a "perfect situation".

"Clearly, we have a number of players including Ben Chilwell, Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire and Kalvin Phillips who are not playing a lot of minutes with their club," he added.

"It is not ideal, but we feel they have been, and can be, important players for us. It is not a perfect situation, but there is still a lot of football to be played before Qatar.

Tottenham defender Dier ends a two-year absence from the national set-up, having been a member of the team that travelled to the 2018 World Cup, with Toney a new face altogether.

"With Eric, he has been playing well for a period of time," Southgate added. "We think it is a really close call across our centre-backs, and he has deserved to be picked back in the group.

"We know what a good character he is. He fits in with the culture and has great international experience and leadership qualities.

"With Ivan Toney, we have been tracking him for a long time. I had a good chat with Thomas Frank about him last season.

"His form and his qualities – not only his goalscoring but his technical ability, build-up play and aerial prowess – gives us a different threat to some of the other players we could pick."

England travel to Italy in a Euro 2020 final rematch before returning to Wembley to face Germany in their two Nations League encounters before the World Cup.

Didier Deschamps insisted he will not take a half-fit Paul Pogba to the World Cup after France saw several stars ruled out of their upcoming Nations League fixtures.

Pogba has yet to make a competitive appearance since returning to Juventus on a free transfer in July. He is a doubt for the tournament in Qatar after opting to undergo surgery to solve a lesion to the lateral meniscus in his right knee.

The 2018 World Cup winner is not the only injury concern for Deschamps ahead of Nations League contests with Austria and Denmark this month.

Real Madrid talisman Karim Benzema has been left out of their squad after suffering a knee injury, though Carlo Ancelotti said the striker was "progressing well" earlier this week.

Meanwhile, N'Golo Kante, Presnel Kimpembe, Lucas Hernandez and Kingsley Coman are also out.

Pogba's injury is the most worrying for Deschamps, who was unable to offer any update on his condition on Thursday.

"It is impossible today to affirm anything [except] through the intervention and the treatment protocol he has," Deschamps said.

"I know very well Paul, with whom I talk regularly. Today, no one, even him, can say whether he will be there [at the World Cup]. I don't know if he can be cured.

"Since I've been here, I've never for a single final tournament taken a player if he was not fully recovered. Paul, he's not here to amuse the gallery.

"If he is recovered, it would be a very good thing. He won't come if he's not fit. He doesn't want that either. It's inconceivable. The number of players who will be there, they will all be ready to play.

"It is a question in relation to the competition, those who will be selected will be able to answer these requirements."

Benzema's absence means Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann could be handed an opportunity in Les Bleus' upcoming games, despite seeing his game-time limited at club level this season.

With Atleti reportedly looking to avoid meeting a purchase clause in Griezmann's loan deal, the striker has played just 192 minutes in all competitions this season, though he has still found the net three times.

Deschamps is not concerned by the 31-year-old's lack of action, adding: "At least he's not tired. He has a situation that you know limits his playing time.

"He remains an important and decisive player for his club. He aspires to better, to do more. It's been a good moment [even though] he hasn't done a full 90 minutes."

Deschamps has named three uncapped players in his 23-man squad for this month's fixtures: Eintracht Frankfurt's Randal Kolo Muani, and Monaco duo Youssouf Fofana and Benoit Badiashile.

France have posted two draws and two defeats in their first four games in Group A1 of the Nations League, leaving the world champions battling relegation from the competition's top tier. They host Austria on September 22 and travel to face Denmark three days later.

France squad: Alphonse Areola (West Ham), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Mike Maignan (Milan); Benoit Badiashile (Monaco), Jonathan Clauss (Marseille), Theo Hernandez (Milan), Jules Kounde (Barcelona), Ferland Mendy (Real Madrid), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), William Saliba (Arsenal), Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich), Raphael Varane (Manchester United); Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid), Youssouf Fofana (Monaco), Matteo Guendouzi (Marseille), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Aurelien Tchouameni (Real Madrid); Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid); Olivier Giroud (Milan), Randal Kolo Muani (Eintracht Frankfurt), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain).

Ivan Toney has been handed his first England call-up ahead of the Nations League fixtures against Italy and Germany this month.

The Brentford striker, who has not been capped by his country at any age level, has scored five Premier League goals this season – a tally only bettered by Erling Haaland (10) and Aleksandar Mitrovic (six).

Only Haaland (11) has been involved in more Premier League goals than Toney (five goals, two assists) so far this term. Toney is also averaging one goal contribution every 77 minutes this season, compared to one every 171 minutes last campaign.

Toney was overlooked by Gareth Southgate for England's Nations League outings in June, with Roma's Tammy Abraham named as back-up for captain Harry Kane.

But all three strikers will meet up with the squad for this month's matches, in which England will bid to avoid a humiliating relegation from Group A3. England play Italy on September 23 in Milan, before tackling Germany at Wembley three days later.

 

Manchester United winger Jadon Sancho has failed to force his way back into contention despite the Red Devils' improved Premier League form, while club-mate Marcus Rashford is absent after struggling with an injury.

United skipper Harry Maguire retains his place despite starting just two of his club's six Premier League games – both of which ended in defeat.

Maguire could be joined at the back by United team-mate Luke Shaw, who is one of four defenders to earn a recall to the 28-man squad, alongside Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben Chilwell and Eric Dier.

Regular goalkeeper Jordan Pickford is another who is absent through injury, with Nottingham Forest's on-loan shot-stopper Dean Henderson stepping in.

Chelsea's Conor Gallagher and Leicester City's James Justin drop out having featured in June's squad, leaving them with much work to do ahead of the World Cup beginning in November.

England squad: Dean Henderson (Nottingham Forest), Nick Pope (Newcastle United), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal); Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Conor Coady (Everton), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Reece James (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Fikayo Tomori (Milan), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City); Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City), Declan Rice (West Ham), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton), Jarrod Bowen (West Ham), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal); Raheem Sterling (Chelsea), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Tammy Abraham (Roma), Ivan Toney (Brentford).

Erik ten Hag has backed Marcus Rashford to earn an England recall after confirming the injury that has ruled the forward out of Thursday's game with Sheriff is not serious.

Rashford is not part of Manchester United's squad for the Europa League tie in Moldova, with Anthony Martial, Donny van de Beek and Aaron Wan-Bissaka also absent.

The 24-year-old has impressed this campaign with three goals and two assists in six matches, compared to five and two respectively in 32 outings in all competitions last season.

That upturn in form was expected to lead to a call-up to the England squad for the first time since Euro 2020 when Gareth Southgate names his squad on Thursday.

Rashford's hopes of a recall appeared to be damaged by a minor injury sustained against Arsenal, but Ten Hag does not expect him the miss any serious length of time.

"He has a muscle injury. I can't tell how long he'll be out, but I don't think it will be too long," Ten Hag said at a pre-match press conference on Wednesday ahead of facing Sheriff.

"It's not really bad and we expect him back quite soon."

Asked if Rashford has done enough to earn a place in the England squad for Nations League games against Italy and Germany, Ten Hag said: "It's quite clear, yes.

"He has shown his great potential and quality this season."

United have otherwise named a strong squad for the Group E tie as they aim to respond to last week's 1-0 loss at home to Real Sociedad in their opening match.

It will be United's first competitive meeting with Moldovan champions Sheriff, who are unbeaten in eight matches and beat Omonia Nicosia 3-0 last week.

Ten Hag, who has lost only two of his 20 away matches in major European competitions as a manager, is eager to get back on track after last week's setback against Sociedad.

"There is pressure on in every game – we have to win every game we play," the Dutchman said. "When you lose the first game, you have to win the second.

"We know what our task is. We always play a strong side and tomorrow that will also be the case.

"Sheriff have shown they are capable by beating Real Madrid and Shakhtar Donetsk in the past. They are a serious opponent and we have to be at our best for the win."

With Rashford and Martial not available, Cristiano Ronaldo is set to start for only the third time this season in all competitions.

However, asked to confirm if that will be the case, Ten Hag said: "I'm sorry, but the Moldova fans have to wait until tomorrow."

Gianluca Scamacca has revealed Roberto Mancini was influential in his decision to leave Sassuolo for West Ham, with the Italy head coach believing a Premier League move was best for his development.

Scamacca, who had been linked with the likes of Paris Saint-Germain earlier in the transfer window, signed a five-year contract with the option of an extra 12 months at the London Stadium on Tuesday.

West Ham have reportedly agreed to pay an initial £30.5million (€36m) for the towering centre-forward, who scored 16 Serie A goals for Sassuolo last term.

Among players to have scored 15 or more goals in a top-five European league in 2021-22, only three were younger than 23-year-old Scamacca, namely Erling Haaland (22 goals), Vinicius Junior (17) and Dusan Vlahovic (24).

Scamacca's form with the Neroverdi led to him breaking into Mancini's Italy squad, making seven appearances for the Azzurri since his debut last year.

The striker made UEFA Nations League starts against Germany and England in June as Mancini looked to remould Italy's attack in the wake of their failure to reach the Qatar World Cup.

After making his move to east London, Scamacca revealed he had discussed his future with Manchester City's 2011-12 title-winning boss.

"We spoke before I came here, and he said it was the best place for me," Scamacca told West Ham's website. 

"[He wanted me] playing in a tournament that would help me to get better and improve, because the Premier League is the best league."

Scamacca could make his Premier League debut when West Ham face Mancini's former side at the London Stadium on August 7.

Gareth Southgate has the full support of the Football Association after chair Debbie Hewitt provided an impassioned defence of the "high IQ" and emotionally intelligent England manager.

England have made it to the World Cup semi-finals and Euro 2020 showpiece under Southgate, the latter of which the Three Lions' first final appearance at a major tournament in 55 years.

But pressure has mounted after a dismal start to their Nations League campaign in June, losing to Hungary twice either side of draws with Germany and Italy to leave England in danger of relegation.

The most recent 4-0 thrashing to Hungary was the first time England have lost a home match by four or more goals since March 1928, when they lost 5-1 to Scotland.

Hungary also became the first team to score four goals in an away match against England since the Hungarians themselves won 6-3 at Wembley in November 1953.

Frustrated supporters could be heard chanting "you don't know what you're doing" at Molineux towards Southgate, who later vowed to not out-stay his welcome in charge.

With the World Cup in Qatar just five months away, Hewitt was quick to outline her support for the 51-year-old despite ongoing questions over his tactics.

"My personal opinion on Gareth is that he is, by the facts on the pitch, the most successful England manager we've had for 55 years," Hewitt told reporters at a news conference.

"The bit people don't see as much is the Gareth at camp and the culture he's created.

"Certainly prior to Gareth being the manager of England, there was not the pride of wearing the England shirt. There were the club rivalries we'd read about. The players not getting on.

"He's changed that beyond recognition and I've seen that first hand.

"I'd also say that I don't just work in football, I work in business and I've worked with a lot of chief executives and Gareth's skills — his high IQ and high EQ — would make him a chief exec in any sphere.

"That resilience and accountability [are] the two qualities I admire most. There are no slopy shoulders, he doesn't huff, he's resilient and that's what you want in an England manager."

While offering her support publicly, Hewitt says the reaction of Southgate to private conversations expressing the FA's backing also highlighted his credible demeanour.

"Gareth's reaction, as in everything with that sort of conversation, was that it is his accountability, there's always something to learn," she continued.

"That's why it's refreshing working with somebody like that because that openness to learn is quite remarkable and quite unusual in any sphere."

Southgate took charge, initially as caretaker manager, in 2016 and impressed after Sam Allardyce's one-game tenure, with the former Middlesbrough manager earning the permanent job.

After England qualified for the World Cup in Qatar with victory over San Marino in November 2021, Southgate was handed a three-year extension, keeping him as Three Lions' manager until December 2024.

The World Cup will start just one year after he signed the long-term extension and debate has been sparked over whether conducting negotiations was sensible before the results and performances in that tournament are known, but Hewitt assures the correct decision was made.

"I don't think we would be discussing [the contract] had we not had the recent series of games. Clearly, we did that [agreed the new deal] with proper discussion and thought," she added.

"The fact that there's been a stumble does not make us automatically say 'should we have given him a contract?' It is a red herring.

"We have confidence in Gareth for all the reasons I described and I think that's the important thing. And it's particularly important going into the biggest tournament."

Eddie Jones finds it laughable to hear Gareth Southgate coming in for heavy criticism after the England football team's poor Nations League results.

England rugby union head coach Jones says those rushing to judge Southgate's aptitude as boss of the Three Lions are showing they have short memories.

Southgate led England to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals and to the Euro 2020 final, but two defeats to Hungary either side of draws with Germany and Italy have led to a backlash.

There has been a clamour among some impatient supporters for Southgate to be replaced before the World Cup gets under way in November.

Jones said he "100 per cent" understood the position in which Southgate finds himself, having faced flak himself over England's rugby results.

He also pointed to the upturn in English cricketing fortunes this month as another sign of how fickle England fans can be, with the team emerging from a desperate rut in the Test game and suddenly being hailed as world-beaters.

"I find English sport amusing in that way," Jones said.

"English cricket two weeks ago didn't know what they were doing, complete debacle. They win two Tests, and now where can they go? They can go to Australia and they can beat Australia in the Ashes with 10 men, they're that good now.

"And English football, they were the darlings, and they lose a couple of games and you can see their players are probably struggling after a hard season, and now they're the worst thing since sliced bread.

"So everyone takes a turn in the chair. We've had our turn in the chair, and hopefully we'll move to a chair on the more comfortable side now."

Jones and Southgate have previously met to exchange coaching ideas, and both will hope those pay off in the big tournaments that lie ahead.

England's rugby side suffered a dismal Six Nations at the start of the year and travel to face Australia in three Tests next month.

Speaking on BBC 5 Live Sport, Jones said his team were in a rebuilding process, with the focus on shaping a unit to be competitive at the Rugby World Cup next year in France.

"There's always criticism when you don't win – particularly when you're with England there's a lot of criticism – but we know we've got to go through the process of rebuilding the team and sometimes that's a bit uncomfortable," Jones said.

He said the Australia series was an "opportunity to create new history", but there will be a poignant reunion Down Under for Australian Jones, too.

"I haven't been back to Australia since 2019, so I get to see my mother, who's now 97, and she rang me this morning and said, 'Make sure you win'," Jones said. "So you can see where I get my competitive spirit from."

Nicolo Zaniolo has apologised for Italy's failure to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar as he pledged to become a key part of Roberto Mancini's next Azzurri side.

Italy will miss a second successive World Cup this year after falling to a stunning play-off reverse to North Macedonia in March, and their misery was compounded this month when they were beaten 3-0 by Argentina at Wembley in the Finalissima.

They also won just one of their first four Nations League games, losing 5-2 to Germany last time out.

Zaniolo was absent as Mancini's men beat England on penalties to win the rearranged Euro 2020 tournament last July, and made just one appearance throughout Italy's unsuccessful World Cup qualification campaign.

The creative midfielder is desperate to become a key part of Mancini's next side, and hailed the job the former Manchester City boss has done with the national team.

"I'm sorry, because we have to wait another four years," he told Sportweek. "But let's go on. I'm used to chasing. There will be other goals in between.

"The first time Mancini called me I was very young... He came there to talk to me, to make me feel immediately at ease. Great person, professional. I will do everything to convince Mancini."

Moving forward, Italy will be without defensive stalwart Giorgio Chiellini, who won his 117th and final international cap in the Argentina defeat – matching Daniele De Rossi as his nations' fourth-most capped player.

And Zaniolo thinks the former Juventus man will be difficult to replace.

"[Chiellini] has always been the most difficult to overcome," he said. "He is physically strong and off the pitch, he is an exceptional person."

At club level, Zaniolo enjoyed a successful campaign under Jose Mourinho at Roma, making 30 appearances in all competitions as the Giallorossi won the Europa Conference League, and scored the only goal of last month's final win over Feyenoord.

The 22-year-old says he has learnt a lot from playing under Mourinho.

"He's a winner," he said. "He taught me how to get into position in the defensive phase, where we had to improve and I still have to do it. 

"He helped me to manage certain situations, in the past I would have reacted badly or worse due to exclusion from games that were very significant for me. 

"He taught me to bite my tongue, [to be] mute and work more in the field."

Harry Maguire has defended under-fire England boss Gareth Southgate after a 4-0 defeat to Hungary, claiming he remains one of the best managers in international football.

Maguire, who came on as a late substitute with England 3-0 down at Molineux on Tuesday, says the loss was "unacceptable" but insisted the Three Lions can make a big impact at the World Cup this year.

England are facing the threat of Nations League relegation after taking just two points from four Group A3 games, following up draws against Germany and Italy with their heaviest home defeat since a 5-1 hammering by Scotland in 1928.

A failure to win any of their four games this month also leaves England on their worst run since June 2014, when they went without a victory in five games during a month which saw them finish bottom of their group at the 2014 World Cup under Roy Hodgson.

Hungary also became the first team to score four goals in an away match against England since their historic 6-3 triumph at Wembley in 1953, leading Southgate to come under fire from supporters.

Chants of "you don't know what you're doing" were aimed at Southgate by home fans during the hammering, but Maguire says he remains the right man to lead the team in Qatar later this year.

"Gareth is the most successful England manager since Sir Alf Ramsey in 1966," the defender told the Sun. "We all can't wait to work with him and the backroom team again at the World Cup.

"His managerial record is as good as anyone currently out there in international football.

"There's no reason why we can't do really well and our goal is to improve on our previous tournaments and make the country proud.

"We deserved more from the first three [Nations League] games, but against Hungary on Tuesday it wasn't acceptable.

"We all know that. Everyone needs a break now and a recharge. The spirit in the camp has been great, despite the results."

England face just two more Nations League contests – versus Germany and Italy in September – before they open their World Cup campaign against Iran on November 21.

Paul Pogba would be an "excellent" acquisition for Juventus should the Bianconeri manage to re-sign the former Manchester United midfielder, according to Italy legend Marco Tardelli.

Pogba, who spent four trophy-laden years in Turin between 2012 and 2016, has been strongly linked with a return to Juventus after his United departure was confirmed.

No United player registered as many Premier League assists (38) or chances created (231) as Pogba during his six-year spell at Old Trafford, although his second spell at the club ended in disappointing fashion, with the 2018 World Cup winner playing just 1,354 minutes of domestic league football last season.

Tardelli, who won five Serie A titles with Juventus during his playing career, insisted that while returning to a former club is always difficult, Pogba would be an ideal signing for coach Massimiliano Allegri.

"I believe that returns are always difficult, because there are higher expectations," Tardelli said, quoted by ANSA. "But it is an excellent acquisition."

Tardelli said Juventus needed to sign players who could make "an important contribution in every department". The squad is set for an overhaul, after finishing fourth in Serie A for a second successive season, having won the title in each of the nine previous campaigns.

 

The fact there are unusually few prominent Italian players at Juventus may not be helping the national team, who missed out on qualification for the World Cup and sit third in Nations League group A3 after winning just one of their first four games.

None of the five players to have played the most Serie A minutes for Juventus in the 2021-22 season (Wojciech Szczesny, Matthijs de Ligt, Juan Cuadrado, Alvaro Morata and Adrien Rabiot) are Italian, with Manuel Locatelli sixth on that list.

Roberto Mancini's Italy endured a disappointing international break in June, being thrashed 5-2 by Germany on Tuesday having begun the month with a 3-0 reverse to a Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina at Wembley, and Tardelli also believes the Azzurri are missing an elite forward.

"There is a block of foreigners [at Juventus] more than anything else," Tardelli said. "[Italy forwards Gianluca] Scamacca and [Giacomo] Raspadori play for Sassuolo, a team with little international experience.

"We lack a champion, especially in the advanced department, a player who manages to invent a pass, not strictly the number nine.

"If you don't score a goal there is always a problem, but I have faith in Scamacca, I also had it in [Ciro] Immobile but, if you don't show signs, you are criticised.

"Mancini is doing an excellent job; he is trying to find young people, and he has done it well in some cases. We need to have patience and hope to find a champion like [Francesco] Totti, like [Roberto] Baggio or like [Alessandro] Del Piero, because now I don't see him yet."

Raheem Sterling insisted "there is no panic" as he called on England players to respond after a humiliating defeat to Hungary, while he backed Gareth Southgate.

England are in serious danger of relegation from the Nations League top tier after going winless in June's internationals, losing twice to Hungary either side of draws with Germany and Italy.

The Three Lions have scored just once, through a Harry Kane penalty in Germany, but the most recent 4-0 thrashing at home to Hungary caused the greatest concern.

Hungary became the first team to score four goals in an away match against England since the Hungarians themselves won 6-3 at Wembley in November 1953.

It was also the first time England have lost a home match by four or more goals since March 1928, when they lost 5-1 to Scotland.

That led to questions over Southgate, with boos audibly ringing around Molineux on Tuesday, but Sterling placed his backing in the England manager.

When suggested Southgate has been a good manager for England after leading them to the World Cup semi-finals and Euro 2020 final, Sterling added to BBC Radio 5 Live: "And the country.

"I keep saying after these last couple of games - you can't be judged on that. If you look at the steps that he's made over the last couple of tournaments, semi-final and a final, I think a Nations League couple of bad results is not something that we can judge him on.

"He's led us incredibly well. And he's showed us the way, he's helped us mature from young men to senior pros, a lot of us in the dressing room.

"He's doing that now with a lot of the young lads and he's trying to make sure that everyone's got enough experience for when we do hit the big time that we're all ready."

The Manchester City star was sent on at half-time with England 1-0 down, before three further Hungary goals followed in the second half.

Sterling believes there is no reason to be concerned as England look to bounce back in September, before heading to the World Cup in Qatar two months later.

"I think it's one that there is no panic for me," he added. "Of course, yes, it's really difficult to take that result.

"It's a game that we should win, but it's been a long old season and, again, we'll go away, readjust ourselves and come back even better.

"No one was expecting it. I think it's been a disappointing camp overall in the sense that there have been games that we should have won.

"Of course it's disappointing, there's going to be question marks, there's going to be doubts. But I'm more than confident in the group that we have. It's solely down to us as players.

"We put good enough sides on for each and every match that we've played and we just haven't got the results.

"We haven't been competitive enough, we haven't been ruthless enough – myself also.

"So, it's one that we just look at ourselves as a collective and I know once we have that well-deserved break that we need and we come back, we'll be ready again."

Hungary boss Marco Rossi has leapt to the defence of England counterpart Gareth Southgate after a 4-0 drubbing at Molineux left the Three Lions at risk of relegation in the Nations League.

A woeful international break has seen England fail to win any of their four matches, with two defeats to Hungary either side of draws against Germany and Italy – with only a single goal to show from it, coming via a Harry Kane penalty.

That has seen pressure mount upon Southgate with the World Cup lying in wait later this year, with England having just two more Nations League fixtures in September before the squad gathers for the trip to Qatar.

Southgate was booed by the home fans following the latest defeat, with many calling for a change to be made, but Rossi insists that he is still the right man to lead England into the World Cup.

"I know that losing 4-0 at home to Hungary [is hard to take] not against Brazil or Argentina," he told a news conference.

"Even in that case, it would be for the English people it would be the same because losing at home 4-0 is difficult to be accepted by the crowd, by the press, by everybody.

"But I think that Southgate already proved to be a quite good coach. He put together quite a strong team.

"Tonight everything went in the wrong way for them but, still, they are absolutely on the top level.

"They must only follow the track that they were doing until now, were following until now, because I'm convinced they will give to you a lot of joy in the next world championship. I am sure about that."

England sit bottom of group A3 and defeat to Italy in September would confirm relegation as they sit three points adrift of the European champions and four behind Germany, who they also face later this year.

Thomas Muller lauded his side's acceptance of risk, following Germany's 5-2 win at home to Italy in the Nations League on Tuesday.

Muller was among the scorers for Die Mannschaft, who led 5-0 at one stage in Monchenglabach after Timo Werner's second of the night. Joshua Kimmich and Ilkay Gundogan were the other scorers for Germany, handing the home side a 2-0 lead at the interval.

Germany sit second in Group A3 after four games, following draws in the opening three matches characterised by high volumes of passive possession.

Especially after early exits at the past three major tournaments, however, the 32-year-old is buoyed by Germany's play under Hansi Flick despite ever-present room for improvement.

"One good aspect that we brought into play today is that we actually played a little more risky and had more courage," Muller told ZDF. "To accept the risk of losing the ball with the knowledge of snatching away the second ball. So, objective courage and not emotional courage.

"If we understand that a little better on the offensive, that a cross that doesn't lead directly to the goal becomes dangerous with the second ball if we are positioned like that, then we'll make life easier for us.

"We have good players, we have a good attitude and a good project going on. But we still have all sorts of deficits, you have to be honest."

Germany again dominated in possession but were able to translate that into good chances in front of goal on Tuesday, with Joshua Kimmich's opening goal in the 10th minute setting the tone.

The home side were levels above the reigning European champions, who fielded an inexperienced starting lineup and conceded five goals for the first time in a single match since 1957.

For Muller, who insisted he does not see himself playing much longer at international level, it was an affirmation of Germany's quality.

"We have everything to be able to beat anyone on a good day," he said. "We still have to improve on the football-savvy things, like wanting to do the right thing. We won a lot of second balls and that made the game easier for us.

"I know I won't play 50 more international matches. Let's see what happens in the next two or three years, but I'm enjoying it a lot at the moment."

A defiant Gianluigi Donnarumma claimed he will have his "head held high" following Italy's 5-2 defeat away to Germany in the Nations League on Tuesday.

Germany led 5-0 at one stage in Monchengladbach and wearing the captain's armband, the Azzurri goalkeeper had a disappointing night personally, with Timo Werner pinching the ball off him before making it 4-0.

Goals from Wilfried Gnonto and Alessandro Bastoni provided small consolation late for Italy but for an inexperienced squad, Tuesday's loss was a harsh reminder of international football's margin for error.

Asked whether distribution with his feet was an aspect he needed to improve upon post-game, after similarly getting his pocket picked in Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League exit, the 23-year-old responded angrily.

"When did it happen before? When I was fouled against Real Madrid? If we want to cause controversy over these things, then fine," Donnarumma told RAI Sport. "I am here to talk for the team. If you want to blame me, fine, I’ll take the blame, I am the captain and I keep going with head held high.

“I think you’re all trying to create something about these errors, fine.

"We are angry. There are no excuses, we have to get back out there and prove this is not us. There are simply no excuses."

The Azzurri sit third in Group A3 after two draws and a win in their opening three games but following their loss in the UEFA/CONMEBOL Finalissima, Tuesday's defeat represents a return to square one.

Donnarumma suggested end-of-season fatigue had been a contributing factor, but it had not been primary in Italy's performance in Germany.

"We were lacking everything tonight," he said. "There was also some fatigue after four games in 15 days at the end of the season, but we don’t want to seek alibis. Now we will look each other in the eye and analyse everything.

"We’re really disappointed for the fans, for what they saw tonight. We had a few chances, but it’s not good enough. We’ll analyse everything and start again.

"All of us made mistakes. I could’ve dealt with the situation better at 4-0 and kicked it away, but you learn from mistakes and grow. Now we just have to rest and come back much stronger than this."

England captain Harry Kane believes it is not time to panic for his side after Tuesday's 4-0 loss at home to Hungary in the Nations League.

The Three Lions were ripped apart as boos wrung out at the Molineux Stadium, with Roland Sallai's brace added to late by Zsolt Nagy and Daniel Gazdag, along with a red card for John Stones.

The loss keeps England bottom of Group A3, the only side in the group without a win after four games, with Kane's penalty against Germany the only goal they have scored in that time frame.

After the loss, the 28-year-old took exception to questions over Gareth Southgate's ability to move the team forward, coming into this year's World Cup.

"It's a really disappointing question to be asked. Let's not forget where we have come from," he told BBC Radio.

"Gareth has been a key part of transforming this England team to one of the most successful sides we have had in the past 50 years.

"I know it's disappointing for the fans. It has been a disappointing camp, every now and then football throws up a surprise, we have to look at the big picture. We've had two fantastic tournaments in a row. It's not the time to panic. It's a loss we're disappointed with but we need to stay calm and we know we have stuff to work on."

Southgate went with a third formation in four games as he tries to work an optimal composition for Qatar, with Jude Bellingham and Conor Gallagher joining Kalvin Phillips in midfield.

England's two best chances in open play came from headers despite 68.6 per cent of possession - Kane hitting the bar with his flicked effort - but Sallai's goal in transition was the effective sealer.

Stones' dismissal and another two goals for Hungary in transition punctuated a disappointing international window for England, who have struggled to translate possession into substance in front of goal.

Kane insisted England did create chances post-game but realisation in front of goal has been the main issue of this camp, and the cause of these results.

"First half I thought we created enough chances to score but that's kind of been the story of our Nations League so far in this camp," he told Channel 4.

"We haven't quite had the cutting edge and then second half, it's unacceptable, once we went 2-0 down to concede in the way we did. Look, we've not had a camp like it for a long, long time. It's no time to panic.

"It's time to keep our heads up, look forward to the break now and come back stronger in September.

"Our defence has been the structure of our success over the last four, five years and it was a night to forget, of course. We've got to take it on the chin and move forward. End of the day we're going to prepare for what's going to be a big World Cup and that's the most important thing."

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