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Time to move on from arm band rows and concentrate on the game, says Sam Allardyce

28 Nov Time to move on from arm band rows and concentrate on the game, says Sam Allardyce

FORMER England manager Sam Allardyce has said that it is time for players to forget about rainbow arm bands and concentrate on winning the World Cup.

He told GB News: “I think the rainbow flags and bands on the arm should an issue that’s in the distant past now. I think everybody’s had their say and we should move forward into the games and try to go as far as we possibly can.

“We’ve had a great uplift on the Iran game, and we’ve had a little bit of a knock-back on the American game but the beauty of this is that we’re top of the league. It looks like we’re going to go through.

“We’ve got a massive opportunity to beat Wales who were extremely poor, unfortunately, against Iran, and we’ve got to take advantage of that and really go for it.

“I think that that means that Gareth does need to change the side and put a lot of these talented boys who haven’t had a goal yet on the pitch to see what they can do.”

He told Mark Dolan on GB News: “I think any old nation when they play each other, a shock can happen and obviously, in terms of form and the talent of Wales squad and the talent of the England squad, we are absolute favourites.

“But that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be an easy ride. And I think that after their disappointment, there’ll be really, really up for this game in trying to beat England, so we have to be very aware and very alert on what Wales will do on Tuesday night.”

He added: “Certainly we could win the World Cup. We have got the squad, we’ve got the experience, both the manager and the backroom staff as well as the players and we just need to have the mental resilience to go out and do it.

“We’ve certainly got to two tournaments, a semi-final and the final, so there’s no reason this squad can’t get to the final.”

Meanwhile when asked if he had ever imposed a sex ban on players to improve performance, he said: “It depends on how close it is to the big game!

“How often do they see their loved ones to have intimate relations…it’s up to the individual. If they get the opportunity to see the loved ones it might make them play even better, who knows?

On the team’s performance against the USA, he told GB News: “Yes, we’re all very disappointed that across the board, I understand that, none more so than me shouting at the TV while it was happening

“There were a number of reasons that I was shouting to the TV because of the lack of – fatigue, that looked like it was in the team, so I expected Gareth to have changed it around a little quicker.

“I sincerely hope he’s going to change the team for the next game because clearly the lads who played two games on the trot couldn’t cope with the physical attributes of Doha and the intensity of the game and the weather. So, for me, use that fabulous squad that he’s got to its full potential.”

Asked if there was enough innovation in the England camp, he said: “Oh, yes, they got that on the fingertips. I mean, it depends how you want to use it…how deep do you want to go with it?

“…feedback is a massive thing in stats terms and physical terms and attributes terms and of course, the backroom staff in terms of what’s the most important thing now, and that is recovery.

“And recovery is the biggest thing the players can be worried about or the backroom staff should be concerned about and topping up the players’ energy to get out there and give their best and look like they’re giving their best.

“Unfortunately, in the American game, they flagged physically and it looked like they weren’t trying at some stage. They certainly were. There’s no doubt about that, but they just weren’t physically capable of it.”