Soccer: England coach Southgate praises 'exceptional' Mount after Albania win

·1-min read
World Cup Qualifiers Europe - Group I - Albania v England

(Reuters) - England coach Gareth Southgate hailed Mason Mount's excellent performance after the Chelsea midfielder scored in Sunday's 2-0 win over Albania and said he had a good chance to start their next 2022 World Cup qualifier against Poland.

Harry Kane and Mount grabbed the goals in Tirana to lead Southgate's side to the top of Group I with six points after two games, two points ahead of Poland and Hungary.

Mount is the first Chelsea player to score or assist in three consecutive England appearances since Frank Lampard, the 22-year-old's former manager.

"I thought his performance was excellent," Southgate said.

"He is an exceptional player, he finds space intelligently, he manipulates the ball very well, he creates chances and he scores goals."

Mount has started England's last seven games and Southgate said he was in the running to do so against Poland on Wednesday.

"Absolutely," he said. "We've looked after all the players in the first game. As for his load coming into the camp, he didn't play in the midweek in the Champions League.

"But regardless of that, we are trying to win and qualify for a World Cup and I can't be constantly thinking about rotating the squad.

"We've got a lot of players missing and we've tried to protect our forward players through that first part of the week. Now we have just got to try and win the games."

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)