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Kobbie Mainoo comes out fighting as midfielder reflects on England defeat

Kobbie Mainoo comes out fighting as midfielder reflects on England defeat

Kobbie Mainoo started in England’s final warm-up game on Friday evening when the Three Lions welcomed Iceland to Wembley.

The 19-year-old was named in the final 26-man squad for this summer’s European Championship and is in line to start their opening game against Serbia.

England were surprisingly quite comfortably beaten by Iceland, however, and the midfielder provided fighting talk after the game, taking responsibility for his side’s performance and insisting there’s more to come.

“I feel like going to a tournament with a loss, with a chip on our shoulder can only be a good thing,” Mainoo told Sky Sports.

“We have a point to prove now to ourselves, really, because we know we’re better than that. We know we can play a lot better football.

“It was humbling and now we have to come together, we’ve got a chip on our shoulder. We’ve got even more motivation to go into that first game and prove a point. If we’re not winning, we’re learning.

“Any chance to learn is a good opportunity and it’s good that it’s happening now and not in nine days’ time.”

It’s a mature response from a player who should be protected in what was only his third appearance for his country. If this season has taught you anything about Mainoo, it’s that he’s mature beyond his years in more than one way.

Mainoo is one of two Reds hoping to make an impact in Germany this summer, with Luke Shaw also named in the final 26-man squad.

Harry Maguire was part of the initial 33-man squad but was left out of the final group after failing to overcome the injury that put an early end to his 2023/24 campaign.