BY ANDREW MCSTEEN
England U21 boss Lee Carsley has praised the young Crystal Palace pair of Conor Gallagher and Marc Guehi ahead of UEFA U21 Championship qualifiers against Slovenia and Andorra.
The duo both look set to start in the matches which take place today and Monday.
Gallagher and Guehi have racked up 13 Premier League appearances for the Eagles this season, something which Carsley believes is crucial for their continued progression as players.
“It’s really important for their development that they are trusted to play in the first teams, that they are playing at such a high level and that they’re able to manage the emotion that comes with playing in the first team and the up and down with results and coping with that,” said Carsley to the South London Press.
“Those two are very level-headed players and watching their games at Palace, they’re obviously very important to Crystal Palace as well and we’re aware of that.”
That awareness comes through Carley’s wider coaching staff, which includes the recently-appointed former Palace loanee Ashley Cole, and fellow former England defender Joleon Lescott.
“We’re watching all of the games ourselves as coaches,” said Carsley about keeping tabs on the young Palace pair.
“I know that Ashley and Joleon have got a good relationship with Patrick [Vieira] so they’ll be in touch with him, getting some intel on how the lads are doing, or what they need, or potentially any extras that they might want to do when they come away.
“We’ve got real good communications with not only Palace and Patrick, but all of the clubs. We try and make sure that it’s seen as a real positive to come away with your country and get that international exposure.”
Carsley made Guehi his captain for this international season and the England coach is in no doubt about the former Chelsea player’s leadership qualities.
“In terms of getting around the players in training, that encouragement, he’s a different kind of captain, he’s not a ranter and a raver, he leads by example,” said Carsley. “We’re quite lucky within the squad that we’ve got three or four players that can do that, that are more than capable of leading, but Mark’s been an outstanding captain and a big part of what we’re doing here.”
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