Harry Maguire believes Gareth Southgate has given England’s defenders “confidence” with his three-at-the-back formation.
Sky Sports News understands Maguire, along with Manchester City pair John Stones and Kyle Walker, has been selected to start in a back three for Monday’s World Cup opener against Tunisia.
Southgate has put an emphasis on playing the ball out from the back since his appointment and Maguire says the squad are gradually improving under the new system.
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“Ever since Gareth has picked me in the squad he’s shown great faith in me, in terms of wanting me to come out with the ball and it shows [he has] great confidence in our ability,” Maguire told Sky Sports News.
“As a squad we are trying to get used to the formation he’s selected to try and play and I think the more we play it the better we will become at it. He’s definitely given us the confidence – especially the two outside centre backs – to step in and join the attack and get as many bodies forwards as we can to cause great problems for the opposition.”
Maguire is confident that with captain Harry Kane leading the line England boast a forward line to rival any side at the World Cup.
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When asked if England’s attacking quality matches up to the tournament’s best, he said: “Yeah, definitely. I think the attacking players we have, they’ve produced in the Premier League for numerous years.
“You’ve seen Harry Kane – our captain – who has produced year in, year out near the Golden Boot each year so we’ve got top players in our squad as well. I’m looking forward to seeing what they can produce.”