Friday, 1 June 2018

England Vs Nigeria is an important match - Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand has emphasized on the England players getting to know each other and believe the friendly game against Nigeria on Saturday is an important one.

The World Cup is just 13 days away and Ferdinand believes the player are yet to know each other and a test game like, is the right oppourtunity for them to blend.

'These two warm-up games have never been more important to an England team than at this time,' he said

'It is the time you need to get familiar with the other people you are playing with. I don't need just to be familiar with my centre back partners, I need to understand my goalkeepers and the way he wants to move.'

'Then there's the centre midfield in front of us. And the back three ourselves - I need to have that triangle imprinted in my mind so I know intuitively where they are going to be.'

'I believe the players who are going to start the World Cup should play the warm-up games. We don't know who the keeper is.'

'On the ball, we have got very, very capable defenders. John stones is fantastic on the ball; Harry Maguire is fantastic on the ball; Kyle Walker is very good for England on the ball. But the most important thing - and the thing that concerns me is that they are not familiar with each other.'

'My defensive partnerships were always based on understanding instinctively where my partners were going to be - and that comes from game-time spent together. When I first made my debut for Leeds(against Leicester) it was in a back three with two defenders of the class of Jonathan Woodgate and Lucas Rabede.'

'We got beaten 3-1 and were all over the place for the first half-hour. That shows how important that understanding  is. The most important thing, and the thing that concerns me is that Gareth Southgate's defenders are not familiar with each other.'

England takes on Nigeria on Saturday at  Wembley and later they will also be playing against Costa Rica in a warm-up game before finally heading to Russia.

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