Declan Rice has spoken of the role England boss Gareth Southgate has played in giving him confidence ahead of his England debut.
The West Ham midfielder made his bow for the Three Lions last night (Friday), coming off the bench as England thrashed Czech Republic 5-0 at Wembley to kick off their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign in style.
Rice was introduced as a second half substitute, replacing Tottenham’s Dele Alli after impressing the Three Lions boss in training, having been called up to the England squad for the first time after recently switching international allegiance from Republic of Ireland.
And the 20-year-old has praised Southgate’s man-management skills, adding that he has been key for him – and others – in giving England’s young players confidence to go out and express themselves on the pitch.
“They’ve been really, really good,” he said, speaking in an interview with West Ham’s club website about the conversations he has had with the Three Lions boss.
“You hear a lot of stuff about how good he is at man-management and how he is with the players.
“And I have to say he has been top drawer with me. He gives you the confidence to go out and play, and he wants you to express yourself.
“You see, he gave Callum Hudson-Odoi his debut as well. He is not afraid, and I think that is really good for the young English players coming through.”