Declan Rice has reacted to being withdrawn at half-time and replaced by Jordan Henderson in England’s 1-0 victory over Czech Republic earlier this week.
The West Ham United midfielder has started all three of the Three Lions’ group games at Euro 2020, with the Liverpool captain only making his first competitive appearance since February when registering his first appearance of the tournament against the Czechs.
England boss Gareth Southgate has since confirmed it was his wish to get the 31-year-old 45 minutes heading into the knockout stages, but Rice has admitted he was not aware about the pre-planned change when addressing the competition for places in the camp ahead of facing Germany in the round-of-16 following Henderson ‘s return.
“The competition is tough. On the 45 minutes (getting subbed at half-time), I don’t know what the manager was thinking,” he told reporters. “Maybe just a precautionary 45 minutes or to give Hendo 45 but everyone is ready.
“In training everyone is at it, everyone is tough with each other and, of course, everyone wants to play. It’s England vs Germany.
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“Everyone is ready for it so whoever gets the nod to play will be buzzing, but if you’re not playing, you’re supporting the lads and if you get to come on, you want to make an impact.”
While Rice is in competition with Henderson to start against the Germans, the 22-year-old also shared how the Liverpool captain has helped him improve as a leader and why such a trait so is important.
“This season I’ve taken the armband instead of Noble when he hasn’t been playing and I’ve just tried to learn off him at very opportunity,” he said.
“When I come here, obviously you’ve got Harry and Jordan Henderson. The vocal side of the game is so important because when you’re on the pitch, if you’re not communicating with each other and not helping each other out, if you’re quiet out there then an extra voice is going to help.
“It’s going to help your team-mates so I think it’s important to impose your character and personality on the pitch and that’s what I try to do.”