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Foden hails ‘improvement’ in England attack with new role in formation reshuffle

Phil Foden believes Gareth Southgate’s change of formation suits him better and will help bring the best out of Jude Bellingham and him.

Southgate switched to a 3-4-2-1 system for England’s Euro 2024 quarter-final win over Switzerland with Foden, who had played on the left when England opted for 4-2-3-1, instead given a new role as the right-sided No 10.

And the Manchester City player believes it liberated him by allowing him to take up more different positions and to trouble the Swiss.

He told BBC 5 Live: “I enjoyed it a lot. I felt like it suited me a bit more, being more central. It’s the best we’ve probably played in this tournament as well. We want to keep improving and take that into the semi now.

“Me and Jude had to stay a bit patient in the pockets and hopefully the lads can find us in between the lines. We spoke about that, staying patient in our positions. I felt like last game was a lot of improvement, me and Jude linking up well and changing positions. Gareth doesn’t want us to just stick to one position, he gives us freedom, which helps a lot.

“It let me roam across the pitch. Sometimes start the attack, sometimes stay in the pocket. It confuses the opposition and I thought we did that well.”

Foden left Euro 2024 briefly after the group stage to return to England for the birth of his third child.

Foden is likely to start against the Dutch once more
Foden is likely to start against the Dutch once more (The FA via Getty Images)

And he added: “Everything’s well. Hopefully I can go back with a medal and I’m looking forward to meeting him.

“It doesn’t help I’m away a lot of the time. I miss valuable time with the kids but when I’m at home I help as much as I can. It is tough. Everyone goes through it in the team, missing a lot of time, birthdays, important things, but it’s what we have to do to be professional and do our job. Sometimes it’s difficult.

“I did say when Jude scored [against Slovakia] and I was walking around the pitch, I was 30 seconds away from going home to do the bottle-feed. The same in the penalty shootout but the lads never looked like they were going to miss.”

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