June 22, 2021
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‘He bounced back’ – England rally behind Stones after early mistake

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The Man City defender appeared to cost his side three points, but he made amends late in the match

England manager Gareth Southgate and defender Harry Maguire rallied behind John Stones after the defender bounced back from his early mistake against Poland on Wednesday. 

After Harry Kane gave England an early lead, Stones got caught in possession and gifted Poland an equaliser in the 58th minute. 

But Stones would redeem himself late on, as his headed assist to Maguire helped seal a 2-1 win in World Cup qualification.

What was said?

Speaking to ITV Sport, Southgate said: “He managed to compose himself for the rest of the game and had a part in the winning goal which was important – you can fold in those moments and he didn’t.

“He’s been having a good season and he’s made a mistake tonight. He knows that but he bounced back during the game and he’s got to keep doing that.”

Maguire added: “John has been brilliant this year. Defenders make mistakes and when we do we get scrutinised. He made up for it with a great header at the back post.

“I said to him to just keep going. We don’t like making mistakes but sometimes we are at fault for goals. We are not perfect. He is in great form and he will come back strong.”

The bigger picture

Stones has seen his place with England and Manchester City come under threat in recent seasons, in part due to his penchant for making high-profile errors. 

But the 26-year-old has returned to form this season, forming a strong partnership at City with new signing Ruben Dias. 

Stones has already surpassed his total minutes from last season as City continue to chase an unprecedented quadruple. 

At international level, Stones has also come back into the fold for England and emerged as a strong candidate to start at this summer’s rescheduled Euro 2020 tournament. 

Stones started all three of England’s World Cup qualifiers this international break, all of which were wins for the Three Lions. 

Further reading

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