Tottenham vs Newcastle friendly 'not great news' for England, says Gareth Southgate

Tottenham vs Newcastle friendly 'not great news' for England, says Gareth Southgate

Gareth Southgate says Tottenham and Newcastle's plans for a post-season friendly in Melbourne is "not great news" for England's preparations for Euro 2024.

Spurs and the Magpies will play a friendly at the 100,000-capacity Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 22, three days after the end of the Premier League season and 24 hours after Southgate names his squad for the finals.

Spurs playmaker James Maddison and Newcastle right-back Kieran Trippier are expected to make the cut if fit, while the Toon's Anthony Gordon is part of the current squad and Nick Pope and Callum Wilson could also be included in the summer if there are injuries elsewhere.

Southgate expects an increasing number of post-season games in future as leading clubs aim to stay in line with financial rules and says he hopes there will be no injuries Down Under.

"I think it's often happened in the past," the England manager said when asked for his views on post-season tours. "It's going to happen more and more.

"Why? Financial Fair Play means clubs need to generate their own money, so we're in a bizarre world where there's more money in the game than ever before, and yet everyone is scrambling across federations and clubs to generate more money.

"The normal way of doing that is to play more games. So is that great news for us, in terms of preparation? No.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

"But we're going to have players in the FA Cup [final, on May 25) probably, the Champions League final [June 1] hopefully and a chance of a few other European finals, so we are used to preparing this way in the end.

"We had to go to Qatar [for the winter World Cup] with five days prep, so we adjust to whatever it is and hope there are no injuries from that game."

Southgate is concerned about the number of injuries in his squad ahead of the friendlies against Brazil and Belgium at Wembley, with Harry Kane among the players sidelined against the five-time world champions with an ankle injury picked up playing for Bayern Munich.

The manager says he has never had more players out through injury and believes a number of different factors are to blame.

"Everybody across the league has a high number of injuries but it is always more complex," he said.

"Everyone wants a simple solution to complex problems. Some players have been unfortunate.

"Kane’s injury was when he crashed into the net at the weekend and it forced a mechanism with his ankle. He had a winter break and is not playing in our league.

"So players have had runs of injuries, some of have played too many games too quickly after injuries so there is a whole range and raft for injuries but clearly the intensity of the games, the additional minutes.

"We have a long list of 40-odd players and a third are unavailable for tomorrow’s game which is the highest we have ever had."