England star makes excuse for Iceland loss as Gareth Southgate raises Euro 2024 questions | Football | Sport

Luke Shaw has claimed that Gareth Southgate’s England cull to form his 26-man squad for Euro 2024 may have contributed to Friday’s humiliating 1-0 defeat against Iceland. Southgate confirmed his ever-difficult final decision earlier this week, which saw seven players from the preliminary 33-man group miss out.

England failed to respond to Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson’s 12th-minute opener, recording just one shot on target in the friendly at Wembley Stadium.

Fans in attendance booed Southgate’s side as part of a nightmare send-off ahead of the start of Euro 2024 in Germany next week.

Shortly before the Iceland clash, England announced the seven players who had been omitted from the final squad.

James Trafford, Jarrad Branthwaite, Jarell Quansah, Curtis Jones, James Maddison and Jack Grealish faced disappointment, while Harry Maguire was excluded due to a calf injury.

And Shaw – who isn’t yet fit to play himself – has suggested that the brutal nature of the build-up likely took its toll on England’s players.

“Gareth made it very clear in the changing room what he felt [after the 1-0 loss],” the Manchester United defender explained.

“I’m not going to repeat what was said, but we know we need to be better. The mentality needs to be better, attitude, performance – everything.

“It’s been a tough couple of days in camp with the decisions. It’s never an easy one to deal with. I’m not saying that had a massive effect, but it could have made a little difference.

“We weren’t shocked by what the manager said. You look in that changing room and see the players, the quality and the experience, we know we should be better.

“This could have been the best thing to happen to us. It made us realise that going to Germany is not going to be an easy ride.

“It’s going to be very very hard and it’s going to take a lot of determination from the team to do well.”

England are the favourites to triumph in Germany ahead of France, the host nation and Portugal, but Shaw is the only left-footed defender in Southgate’s squad.

And the 28-year-old has admitted he isn’t sure whether he’ll be ready to feature in next Sunday’s Group C opener against Serbia.

He said: “Of course, I would love to make the first game, I can’t lie. But it’s not really down to me. At the moment we just go day by day, see how I react, see how I’m feeling in training.

“I don’t want to be in one of those situations where I rush back too quickly because, realistically, I’ve only got one chance. If I feel something, then that’s it – and I don’t want that to happen.”

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