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Jose Mourinho backs Bellingham and Grealish for key England Euro 2020 roles vs Czech Rep


Jose Mourinho has urged England head coach Gareth Southgate to be bold by starting Jude Bellingham and Jack Grealish against Czech Republic. Both players have been limited to a cameo from the substitutes’ bench each during Euro 2020 but could have an opportunity to start due to midfielder Mason Mount’s absence.

Mount will miss the crunch Group D clash against the Czechs alongside Ben Chilwell after coming into close contact with the COVID-positive Scotland star Billy Gilmour.

The Chelsea trio reportedly held a lengthy discussion in the Wembley Stadium tunnel long after England’s goalless draw with Scotland on Friday. It is not believed to be because of the chat the players were pictured having on the pitch in the immediate aftermath.

Mount and Chilwell will isolate up to and including June 28, meaning that they will miss tonight’s (Tuesday) match against Czech Republic.

One of Bellingham or Grealish will likely replace Mount, with several reports on Monday claiming that Southgate will sensationally hand the 17-year-old a first competitive England start.

The teenager became the youngest player to feature at a European Championship when he played the final 10 minutes of the 1-0 win over Croatia.

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Former Tottenham and Manchester United boss Mourinho thinks that Bellingham and Grealish should have started that match and has backed them to begin tonight’s clash.

“If Mount is it out because of the Gilmour situation, then I believe it is easy – you just play Grealish as a No.10,” Mourinho told TalkSPORT.  

“Give him the freedom to go the sides, especially to the left where he loves it. Give him the freedom to play close to Harry, to create, to dribble, to take people on, to win free-kicks.

“I would play Grealish in that position behind Harry, and Bellingham in midfield. You have to make difficult decisions.  It’s not easy for us coaches to leave out players you are very happy with.

“But between Rice and Phillips, the one who has to stay out is probably Phillips. So it would be Rice, Bellingham and Grealish.

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“Kane in normal position and then on the two sides one of Sterling or Rashford; if not both. England need to scare a little bit.

“Not to let defensive lives to feel very comfortable because everything happens in their face and nothing is happening behind their shoulders.

“Before the first game [against Croatia], I was saying Bellingham and Grealish. I agreed totally when Gareth didn’t.

“First game, there was lots of pressure and the way Croatia play. Okay, I understand, I support it.

“In this nature of matches, a player like Bellingham is better than to have Rice and Phillips at the same time.

“They are both playing well, but the team now needs something different. I wouldn’t have any doubt about it.”

England’s 0-0 draw with Scotland caused concern.

Mount’s second-half strike was their only shot on target and the Three Lions’ attacking players appeared to lack confidence.

Mourinho believes that playing Grealish would answer Southgate’s problems.

Mourinho continued to TalkSPORT: “I keep saying, when a team is a little bit with a lack of confidence, playing with some fears and too cautious, with players a little bit hidden, you have to play the ones who don’t hide.

“The one who doesn’t hide is Grealish. He doesn’t hide.

“He can make mistakes, lose the ball, but he doesn’t hide. He wants the ball.

“I don’t know if he says it vocally – ‘give me the ball’ – but he does it by body language and movement. Against Scotland, in the last 10 minutes, he brought the team forward and won free-kicks.

“He created stability. I believe in this moment England needs something like that.”


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