Soccer-Rashford and Sancho can still make World Cup cut, says Southgate

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - World Cup - Final Draw - Doha Exhibition & Convention Center, Doha, Qatar - April 1, 2022 England manager Gareth Southgate arrives ahead of the draw REUTERS/Carl Recine

(Reuters) - Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho may have been overlooked for next month's Nations League fixtures, but England manager Gareth Southgate says the Manchester United duo can still make the World Cup squad if they can get firing for their club.

Both forwards have been out of favour since England's defeat by Italy in the European Championship final last year. They were left out once against when Southgate named his squad on Tuesday for games against Hungary, Italy and Germany.

Southgate, however, said they still had enough matches remaining at club level to show their quality and change his mind before the showpiece event in Qatar that kicks off in November.

"I think there's enough of a block of games at the beginning of next season that people can still play their way in," he told reporters. "But they've got to start playing well with their club. Neither of them have really played at the end of the season."

Rashford and Sancho both struggled for form and consistency under interim boss Ralf Rangnick last season as United finished sixth in the Premier League and missed out on a Champions League spot.

"England is a consequence of what you're doing at your club and you've got to get your club bit right," added Southgate.

"At the moment there's obviously room for those two compared to others in those positions that we've picked that their level hasn't been at the level of the others."

Southgate handed a maiden call-up to West Ham United winger Jarrod Bowen for the June internationals and included striker Tammy Abraham, who netted 17 times for AS Roma in Serie A.

England open their League A Group 3 campaign against Hungary on Saturday in Budapest.

(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; Editing by William Mallard)

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