Premier League

Declan Rice backs England to come good because they ‘score goals for fun in training’

Declan Rice backs England to come good because they 'score goals for fun in training'

England midfielder Declan Rice has insisted that the Three Lions will put their poor recent form behind them at this winter’s upcoming World Cup, and has played down criticisms of their performance in Friday’s 1-0 loss at Italy.

A second half goal from Giacomo Raspadori condemned England to relegation from Nations League A with a game still to play. It was also a fifth consecutive game without a win for the first time since 2014.

Gareth Southgate’s men were flat for the most part at San Siro, but speaking to Channel 4 post-match, Rice echoed his manager’s sentiments that there were still positive signs.

“It’s obviously disappointing. Every tournament we go in, we want to win the group and progress and win every game. We’ve slipped below our standards,” he began.

“I didn’t think it was all bad tonight, one chance for them, one goal. I thought we controlled the game. 

“We’ve passed around well especially in the first half, just lacked that cutting edge in the end. 

“It’s coming. Much better performances than there were in the summer.”

England are now one of only two nations in all of Europe not to have scored a goal that wasn’t from the penalty spot this Nations League campaign – the other is lowly San Marino.

But Rice insisted he’s not worried by the Three Lions’ scoring woes, largely because of how prolific they look on the training ground.

“It’s not that we’re not creating the chances,” he added. “So many times, we got into the penalty box. Even myself, I could have had a shot, instead of laying it off. I see it in training, there’s goals for fun. Trust me, we’re gonna be good.”

England return to action on Monday evening when they face Germany at Wembley. Southgate could turn to uncapped Brentford striker Ivan Toney in search of goals after he was left out of Friday’s matchday squad.

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