Gareth Southgate has revealed his heartache at fans not being able to attend England games and hopes their safe return to stadiums can happen as quickly as possible.

Southgate named a new-look England side for Thursday’s friendly win over Wales, including debuts for Dominic Calvert-Lewin – who scored the opening goal – and Bukayo Saka.


But the absence of supporters took away from what was a memorable moment in those players’ careers.

“To have so many lads making their England debuts and some of them scoring their first goals, playing at Wembley in front of nobody is such a shame for them, not being able to share those moments. They’re moments that live with you forever.

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“We know what it would mean for the game. We don’t have a game without fans really – that interaction, the atmosphere. The level of performance goes even higher when fans are in the stadium. We’re all hoping that can happen as quickly as possible.

“Equally we all understand how complicated a decision that is. I don’t envy the government with trying to deal with the complexity of the virus, to walk into the office every day and have those sorts of complicated decisions to make across so many industries and aspects of life is incredibly difficult. I don’t want to add to their worries.”