Gareth Southgate must drop these 3 England players against Lithuania

"He's absolutely (in my thinking)", the England boss said of the 119-cap forward.

Hart has played in all of England's qualifying matches in the competition, as well as the 2-2 friendly draw with Spain and Wednesday's 1-0 defeat in Germany.

Eric Dier has called on England fans to back the team in the "right way" following the offensive behaviour of some travelling supporters during Wednesday's friendly global loss in Germany.

England now top Group F on the road to Russian Federation, but Slovenia are hot on their heels and they could take advantage of any slip up, with Lithuania, who have taken five points from four games, proving they're no pushovers.

A week after the Red Rose's record-equalling 18-match winning run came to an end against Ireland, Jones joined the England football squad's preparations ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Lithuania on Sunday (Monday NZ time).

There certainly seemed to be a strong sense of togetherness and calm within England's ranks on Wednesday and for Hart it was another occasion when he was able to remind the watching world of his talents, most notably with a terrific low save on 73 minutes to keep out Leroy Sané's firmly hit drive.

Southgate can be satisfied from what he has got from England's worldwide double header, with a creditable performance in defeat against World Cup holders Germany and victory here against Lithuania.

Gareth Southgate wants to continue rotating the England captaincy and is expected to award it to Adam Lallana for Sunday's wembley qualifier against Lithuania, with the Liverpool playmaker impressing the manager enormously since he took full-time charge.

The average age of the starting XI was 26.5, with only two players, Gary Cahill and Jamie Vardy, in their 30s.

Southgate said: "Supporters represent the country when they go away and the majority do that". It was to combat a good team, and it worked well. We have some great strengths and if we couple those with some other traits we could be more powerful than anybody, but we have a lot of work to get to that point. "We prefer to focus on those who support us well and it's a sell-out crowd again so we are grateful for the support". "We need to make it count". "We need to make it matter".

'He's absolutely in my thinking, ' said Southgate.

Southgate added: "He's always had the ability to finish but he's in a very good condition". Hopefully he can pass on his experience.

  • Julie Sanders