Reece James put in another excellent showing for England in the Three Lions’ comfortable win over Ireland last night, and he is the first to admit what a shame it is he won’t be involved in the forthcoming UEFA Nations League fixtures because of suspension.
Last month, James was sent off after the final whistle had blown on England’s home defeat to Denmark, a match in which many regarded him as the best performer in Gareth Southgate’s side.
UEFA handed him a two-match ban for competitive fixtures so he will miss the Nations League games away to Belgium and at home to Iceland that are coming up for England. That is an understandable disappointment for James, but the 20-year-old is still delighted Southgate chose to include him in this squad despite the suspension.
‘It is a very good confidence-booster,’ he said of that decision. ‘It shows that he still wanted me here and still believes in me.
‘I will take the red card from last time and I will learn from it and move on and hopefully it will have a positive impact in the long run.
‘I’m obviously devastated that I can’t play in the next two games but it is a mistake I need to learn from and keep on progressing.’
Last night James was initially deployed at right wing-back, where he was a regular menace going forward and made a couple of important interceptions defensively. For the latter stages he shifted to the right side of a back three and looked equally at home.
‘It was a very good victory,’ James acknowledged. ‘A good team performance and it helps us build momentum into the next games coming up.
‘We won in style, scoring a number of goals and keeping a clean sheet helps the team build confidence.’