Gareth Southgate insists he is realistic about the expectations he can place on Jadon Sancho and the other inexperienced members of the England squad.
There was clamor for Jack Grealish to step off the bench in the Group D 0-0 draw against Scotland on Friday, with many believing the Aston Villa captain should be a starter for the Three Lions.
Likewise, Sancho has yet to play a single minute at Euro 2020 and the 21-year-old hasn’t even benched for the first win against Croatia.
Bukayo Saka is yet to appear, while compatriot Jude Bellingham was a late substitute in the opening game.
Southgate named England’s youngest starting XI in a major tournament for Scotland’s lackluster draw, but it still featured seasoned internationals Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and John Stones.
Asked specifically about Sancho’s involvement in Tuesday’s clash with the Czech Republic, Southgate replied: “We have explosive options and many of them are young players and are experiencing a great tournament for the first time.
“So as a coaching staff we are realistic about our expectations of them as individuals.
“Jadon is part of that mix. He has trained well the last few days and of course we have these options and decisions to make.”
Kane has struggled to make an impact so far in the competition, with Sterling’s winner against Croatia being the only goal England have managed in 180 minutes.
Southgate believes that the fact that he did not have a full squad for the two warm-up matches and the start of preparations for the tournament may have had an impact on the collective performance at the top of the field.
Sterling, Phil Foden and Mason Mount all enjoyed extended breaks after their exploits in the Champions League final, while Marcus Rashford was not available to team up immediately after playing the Europa League final for Manchester United .
“I think we didn’t have a lot of these players for the friendlies so the chemistry is something we haven’t had a lot of opportunities to work on,” Southgate added.
“We have to keep working on this. We know there are some really good players out there, we know they can perform better than they did (against Scotland) and we have to help them find that level.
“The important thing is that everyone is supporting the team and the players and they’re going to need to feel that support and to feel that warmth.
“It’s a relatively inexperienced group, I think the third fewest caps in the tournament. Against Scotland it was a young team so it’s a different experience for a lot of them than they are. have never faced before.
“They almost survived it. We want to be better and that’s what we’ll be working on in the next few days before playing against the Czech Republic.”