Harry Maguire: Gareth Southgate confirms England defender will be involved vs Scotland in Euro 2020

Harry Maguire has declared himself fit and available for Friday's Group D game at Wembley against Scotland; Gareth Southgate is undecided over whether the Manchester United defender will start the game or come off the bench, but says 'we're really pleased with his progress'

Harry Maguire last featured for the Three Lions in their World Cup qualifiers back in March 0:39
Gareth Southgate offers an update on the availability of Harry Maguire ahead of England's match against Scotland

England defender Harry Maguire will be involved in Friday's Euro 2020 group game against Scotland, says manager Gareth Southgate.

England were without Maguire for Sunday's victory over Croatia due to the Manchester United defender still recovering from a high ankle sprain suffered in May which kept him out for the remainder of the season.

But on Thursday, Maguire declared himself fit and available for Friday's Group D game at Wembley, and Southgate has confirmed he will play a part in the match but is undecided over whether he will start the centre-back.

Harry Maguire (PA) 0:30
Gary Neville thinks Maguire's first game in the Euros can't come in a knockout game, so they must use him somehow in the next two group matches

"Harry will be involved tomorrow," said Southgate at a news conference on Thursday. "The decision we've got to make is whether he is ready to start, but we're really pleased with his progress.

"He's trained with the team for four or five days now and had no reaction. Of course each session he's involved with he gets more confident. I think he's on a really good path.

preview image 1:17
Maguire trained with the England squad on Thursday ahead of their Euro 2020 group game against Scotland on Friday night

"Of course we want everybody available. It causes difficult decisions, but at the moment, this morning on the training pitch we had 26 players training and that's a great situation for us to be in."

'Hendo closer to the level we need him to be at'

Southgate also offered a positive update on the progress of Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson, who has seen his preparations for Euro 2020 hampered by injury sustained while playing for his club.

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Jordan Henderson (PA) 1:26
Southgate says Jordan Henderson is making good progress as he recovers from injury and 'is closer to the level we need him to be at'

Henderson came off the bench in a pre-tournament friendly against Romania, which England won 1-0, but was criticised for his performance after missing a penalty.

But Southgate has stressed that Henderson is making big strides as he bids to regain match fitness and says the midfielder brings a lot to the squad even if he is not playing.

"I think with a 26-man squad, we were able to take more of a risk with Hendo," said Southgate. "What he brings to the group on the training pitch and around the camp, his experience and the way he can talk to the players in those quiet moments around the hotel is a great advantage for us to have with the team.

"He is training consistently now and is getting closer to the level that we need him to be at, and also we have some decent cover in that area of the pitch.

"I think the drop-off from not taking Hendo was so much that we preferred to give him the opportunity to make it, and we've had Jude Bellingham come through which has been a real bonus as well as Kalvin Phillips.

"You've got to have the physical part right, there's no doubt about that, even if it's for 15 minutes of the game you have to be able to press well and get around the pitch well.

"There are other factors when you're building a squad and all of those things are key to producing a winning environment."

Kane: Eriksen in our hearts

Christian Eriksen 0:51
England captain Harry Kane wishes Christian Eriksen well and says his former Tottenham teammate is in the hearts of all the football family

England captain Harry Kane says Christian Eriksen's cardiac arrest was a reminder of how "quickly things can change in life" and adds he hopes to see his former Tottenham team-mate and close friend after the tournament.

Kane said: "It's been difficult. To watch it and see it happen last week was hard to watch. Obviously thankfully Christian is alive and seems to be doing well. I've not had contact personally but my wife has spoken to his wife, from what I understand everything is going in a good way.

"Obviously we've had to try and switch off from it and focus on the games, but of course Christian is in all of our hearts, not just our team but the whole football family.

Denmark supporters display banners for Christian Eriksen, the Danish player who collapsed during the match against Finland last Saturday, June 12, during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Belgium, at the Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Thursday, June 17, 2021. (Wolfgang Rattay, Pool via AP)
Image: There was a tribute for Eriksen during Denmark's defeat to Belgium on Thursday

"It's a reminder of how quickly things can change in life and never to take things for granted. We just want to wish him well, all the best, and I hope to see him soon personally."

Asked if he would follow the likes of Romelu Lukaku and dedicate a goal celebration to Eriksen, Kane added: "I'll have to score a goal first... Christian is a good friend, the most important thing is that he knows we're all thinking of him and that he's getting better day by day."

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