Clubs, England, FIFA World Cup, Manchester United, Marcus Rashford, Story

Can England cure their penalty curse if they have to face a shoot-out? Lingard, Sterling, Rashford, Jones and Pickford share their penalty stories.
World Cup: Harry Kane (45’+1) England 5-0 Panama
World Cup: Harry Kane (21′) England 2-0 Panama
The FC crew examine England’s side of the bracket and caution the Three Lions to take the right approach against Colombia, James or no James.
Jesse Lingard opens up about the strong spirit within the England squad and how they’ve responded to Gareth Southgate’s philosophy.

Marcus Rashford says he would like to take a penalty should England play in a World Cup shootout — despite having never taken a spot-kick in a first-team game before.

The 20-year-old Manchester United forward argued that he never missed at youth level and simply needs a chance to show he can do it on the big stage.

England have been practicing penalties regularly in training, and Rashford says he feels confident about his chances in a shootout.

“I think he [Gareth Southgate] knows the players who are confident in those circumstances. I’d be willing to step forward,” he said. “Not everybody here is a penalty taker for their club. It’s more if you feel comfortable taking one, which I do, that’s the way you go about it.

“If you don’t feel comfortable you have to be honest with yourself. That gives the team the best chance.”

England have lost six of their last seven competitive shootouts, and Rashford insists it would be foolish not to be practicing.

“They [Colombia] might not be talking about them but they’re definitely practicing. I think it’s stupid not to practice, especially at this stage of the tournament,” he said.

“It’s not chance. It’s never chance. It’s a skill and every skill takes time to learn it and to perfect it. It’s a simple skill but it’s about being able to perform it with pressure and everything around it.

“I know goalkeepers practice them a lot. They practice their skills to become perfect at it. It’s definitely not chance if you might or might not score.”

Rashford is expected to drop back to the bench for the match with Colombia after starting against Belgium, but says he is not comparing his game time with young contemporaries such as Kylian Mbappe.

“Every player will tell you that it is always frustrating when you don’t start,” he said.

“[But] if I know I’m improving to the player I was a year ago or six months ago then that’s good enough for me. It’s not about competing against other people. Ultimately you’re competing against yourself.

“At the level we’re playing at here, being in an England camp or whether it is at the club, you have to really understand that and you can almost take bits from other people’s game to try and bring your own game on.

“[Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho] has got 20-25 players in the squad and he has to pick the best team to play each game. He got it right most of the time last season but we need a bit extra to push for the title.”

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