Gareth Southgate relishing Patrick Bamford’s England debut: ‘It’s a special moment for him and his family’

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Gareth Southgate relishing Patrick Bamford’s England debut: ‘It’s a special moment for him and his family’
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Gareth Southgate is relishing the chance to see Patrick Bamford make his England debut on Sunday.

The Leeds striker is in line to feature at senior international level for the first time as Group I minnows Andorra visit Wembley for a 2022 World Cup qualifier.

Bamford was handed his maiden call-up for the qualifying triple-header against Hungary, Andorra and Poland after missing out on the Three Lions’ squad for Euro 2020, but remained an unused substitute in Budapest on Thursday night in a 4-0 England win overshadowed by racist abuse aimed at Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham from a section of the home crowd.

However, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin sidelined, the 27-year-old is set to feature as Southgate rings the changes for England’s first game at Wembley since losing the Euro 2020 final to Italy on penalties and will have his eyes firmly fixed on marking his debut with a goal against the world’s 156th-ranked nation.

"It's a special moment for him and for his family. You always think about people that have helped you on that journey,” Southgate said of Bamford at this pre-match press conference on Saturday.

"We want him to do what he does every week with his club. He has settled in really well with the group, he hasn't had a huge amount of time to be able to train with us yet but I think he's got a really clear picture of how we like to play.

"We just want him to go and enjoy his football. It's an opportunity and he shouldn't put any more pressure on himself than that. We know what he's capable of and we're looking forward to seeing him play."

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