Southgate: England fortunate in finding Hudson-Odoi
England manager Gareth Southgate admitted that he has looked to how Manchester United great Sir Alex Ferguson managed his fledglings as he deals with his own batch of precocious talents in his ranks.
Teenagers Jadon Sancho and Callum Hudson-Odoi looked the part during England's 5-0 Euro 2020 qualifying win over the Czech Republic last week and are in contention to feature against Montenegro at Podgorica City Stadium tomorrow morning (Singapore time).
Said Southgate: "We've got competition for places and I think with attacking players anyway they mature very young, and they can go in very young.
"So it's not an issue to play them, and really we've found another player that we really liked (in Hudson-Odoi), but we weren't certain that he'd be able to adapt to this level.
"We're a bit fortunate in finding him, in that we probably wouldn't have done that in this camp.
"We'd have given him a bit longer in the U-21s. But already he's proved in this environment that he can more than cope...
"I think that comes into everything - how much we expose them to the public, how much we put them into commercial situations.
"We've got to be thinking about all of that all of the time because it's very easy for them to enjoy these moments, and they've got to enjoy these moments, but equally, there's a good balance.
"I always think of Sir Alex with Ryan (Giggs) and how he did that so well. They had sustained success because of that."
England's young guns haven't just impressed their manager, they have had their senior Three Lions teammates purring as well.
Said England captain Harry Kane: "Callum and Jadon are very young but they just want to get on the ball, they want to be one-on-one with players...
"That's what we want, we want players who can take players on, run in behind and score goals as well."
Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford added: "It's brilliant. It just shows you that when the new young lads get called up, they are never fazed by it and they're taking it by storm."
The Three Lions took the Czechs by storm in their opening Group A fixture, and their next opponents Montenegro are decidedly wary.
Following Czech striker Matej Vydra calling centre-back Harry Maguire England's weak link ahead of their humbling, Montenegro boss Ljubisa Tumbakovic said he didn't see any weakness in the England team.
He told The Telegraph: "I'm really trying but I can't (find a weakness).
"We in the coaching team who deal with the players are realistic... the model and the way the (England) national team plays is something special."