Callum Hudson-Odoi praises Jadon Sancho's influence in England adaptation
"We have both been playing as we did on the street, that's just how we play. We have been playing as we did in the park and cages."
By Zinny Boswell
Last Updated: 25/03/19 8:46am
Callum Hudson-Odoi says his boyhood friend Jadon Sancho has played a key role in helping him adapt to the England senior squad.
Chelsea winger Hudson-Odoi, 18, had initially joined up with England's U21 team, but was subsequently called up by Gareth Southgate for the first time after multiple players withdrew from his squad.
Three days later, Hudson-Odoi - yet to start a Premier League match - became England's youngest debutant in a competitive international match - breaking a 64-year-old record - in Friday's 5-0 win over the Czech Republic.
Hudson-Odoi joined Sancho, also 18, starting his first competitive game for England, on the Wembley pitch with 20 minutes to go on Friday and played a pivotal role in the team's fifth goal.
Speaking about Sancho's influence, Hudson-Odoi said: "We have known each other since we were very young.
"We used to play against each other and we were always close friends.
"No matter whether it was Chelsea against Watford, where we used to play against each other.
"We have always talked to each other off the pitch, called each other, speak to each other, see how the other one is going and he has had a great season.
"Since I have been here with England, he has helped me from day one, always made me feel comfortable and confident.
"Having a friend like that is amazing, just to bring you into the team and help yourself and be yourself. It is amazing."
He told reporters: "We have both been playing as we did on the street, that's just how we play. We have been playing as we did in the park and cages.
"We have that raw mentality just to go at defenders. Be confident, be yourself, don't be shy in front of anyone.
"That's great that we have the confidence and ability to do that."