Jordan Henderson will captain England against Slovakia, says manager Gareth Southgate
By Dev Trehan
Last Updated: 03/09/17 3:58pm
Gareth Southgate has confirmed Jordan Henderson will captain England for the crucial World Cup qualifier against Slovakia at Wembley on Monday night.
Speaking ahead of last week's 4-0 win over group minnows Malta, Southgate said following Wayne Rooney's international retirement he was undecided on who his permanent England captain will be.
Henderson skippered England at Malta's Ta'Qali National Stadium on Friday night, and England boss Southgate confirmed Henderson will retain the armband for the visit of second-placed Slovakia, who can leapfrog England and go top of Group F with victory at Wembley.
"Jordan stays [as captain] and there is no point in changing that," Southgate, who was celebrating his 46th birthday, told reporters.
"Normally the captain does the two games when we've been together unless we change the team and that guy does not play."
England spurned a number of early chances against Malta and were booed by a section of the travelling support following a goalless first-half.
Harry Kane's 53rd-minute opener and three goals in the last five minutes helped England eventually run out 4-0 winners over Malta, recording their biggest margin of victory in more two years.
Victory on Monday night would take England five points clear at the top of Group F with two games remaining, and Southgate says the Wembley crowd can help the country take a giant step towards qualification for next summer's World Cup in Russia.
"It's a great opportunity for us, a home game," he said.
"We are playing good opposition so we've got to make sure we are tactically prepared, which we will be, but also we've got to have belief in the team that we've got.
"We've got some exciting players and we want to show that. We know the task we have; we know the opportunity. The whole country wants to be at a World Cup.
"It's a great opportunity for the Wembley crowd to get behind us as well. We have a responsibility to get them on their feet, but equally everywhere we go around the world, the opposition crowds really give the team a lift.
"This result can virtually get us to Russia so everybody wants that and it would be great if we get the level of support that I know that stadium can bring."
Watch highlights of England v Slovakia on Sky Sports Football from 10pm on Monday night.