John Stones injury: Gareth Southgate allays fears over England defender


England manager Gareth Southgate has allayed fears over an injury to John Stones ahead of Euro 2024.

The centre-back went down under a clumsy challenge from Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson inside 90 seconds of the Three Lions’ 1-0 home loss to Iceland at Wembley, and required medical attention before carrying on.

Stones showed little signs of discomfort thereafter, but was taken off at half-time and replaced by Ezri Konsa. Southgate does not expect Stones, who is his first-choice centre-back, to be sidelined.

"We think he is probably OK, but we didn't want to take a chance with that given what's coming up,” he told Channel 4.

The Three Lions signed off for the Germany tournament with a whimper, failing to break down a rearguard display from an Iceland side ranked 72nd in the world.

Southgate is not concerned by the result or performance, but added: "It was obviously a disjointed and disappointing performance and we didn't show enough character but I think it's good for us before an international tournament.

"I think we've got to be better without the ball. I think that there were a lot of reasons for that and across the two games we probably haven't had our full side out across any two games. We've been able to look at people, we've been able to learn about the balance of the team.

"I've been involved in a lot of last matches leading into a tournament. Inevitably players have one eye on what's coming in terms of early challenges. No excuses on the result but there are a lot of things we can put eight quickly."