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Gareth Southgate never considered dropping Harry Maguire for England and is confident Marcus Rashford can work his way back after being axed.

Southgate left the 24-year-old and club teammate Jadon Sancho out of the squad for upcoming friendlies against Switzerland and Ivory Coast on Thursday.

Maguire, meanwhile, is one of the two Manchester United defenders included in the 25-man squad along with Luke Shaw.

Harry Maguire has retained his place in the England squad despite a difficult season

Harry Maguire has retained his place in the England squad despite a difficult season

Harry Maguire has retained his place in the England squad despite a difficult season 

The Red Devils skipper has endured a difficult campaign and walked off the pitch to ironic cheers when he was replaced by Juan Mata durinh United’s 1-0 defeat against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night at Old Trafford.

Southgate, however, insisted he never entertained the idea of leaving the 29-year-old out of the squad. 

‘I don’t think it ever crossed our minds not to select Harry Maguire for this squad,’ the England manager said of Maguire, who has won all of his 41 caps during his managerial reign.

‘There wasn’t a chance we weren’t going to call him up.

Gareth Southgate said he never considered dropping the Manchester United captain

Gareth Southgate said he never considered dropping the Manchester United captain

Gareth Southgate said he never considered dropping the Manchester United captain 

‘He’s one of our best centre backs. I always get criticised for being inconsistent but there are nuances. We have more competition in the wide areas.’ 

Rashford’s exclusion, meanwhile, comes as no surprise given his dismal form for United this season.

The 24-year-old’s career at Old Trafford appears to be drifting dangerously, with Rashford finding the net just five times in all competitions this term. 

More worryingly, he has failed to establish himself as a regular in the team, a struggle highlighted by the fact that just half of his 26 appearances in all competitions this season have come as a starter.

But Marcus Rashford has been axed following a dismal run of form for his club this term

But Marcus Rashford has been axed following a dismal run of form for his club this term

But Marcus Rashford has been axed following a dismal run of form for his club this term 

The 24-year-old has scored just five goals in all competitions so far this season  

On Wednesday, Rashford denied he made a rude gesture to Manchester United fans as he left Old Trafford after the defeat to Atletico.

Footage emerged on social media showing him responding angrily to comments from supporters outside the ground.

 ‘I did not gesture with my middle finger,’ he said in a statement on Twitter.  

Rashford  confronted United fans following their Champions League defeat by Atletico Madrid

Rashford  confronted United fans following their Champions League defeat by Atletico Madrid

The United forward posted a passionate statement to social media after his actions

The United forward posted a passionate statement to social media after his actions

Rashford has admitted he let his emotions get the better of him after confronting United fans after being abused by some following their Champions League defeat by Atletico Madrid

‘I used my forefinger to direct the fan to ‘come over and say it to my face’.

‘I had been heckled from the moment I set foot outside the ground, abuse not just aimed at my football.

‘People were looking for a reaction from me. Phones were at the ready.

‘Of course I should have walked straight past and ignored it, that’s what we’re supposed to do right? Last night my emotion got the better of me.’

Source: DailyMail Sports

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