October 02, 2016

LONDON (AP) Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard were rewarded for breaking back into the Manchester United team by getting call-ups to Gareth Southgate's first England squad since he took over as coach from Sam Allardyce.

There were also recalls for fullback Glen Johnson and winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after long absences when the squad was announced on Sunday.

Southgate is in temporary charge of the England team after Allardyce's contract was terminated Tuesday after just one game and 67 days in the position. A British newspaper investigation showed Allardyce appearing to offer advice to fictitious businessmen on how to sidestep an outlawed player transfer practice, and also negotiating a 400,000 pound ($519,000) public-speaking contract.

Southgate takes the reins for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Malta at home and Slovenia away, as well as further games against Scotland and Spain. England started the World Cup qualifying campaign by beating Slovakia 1-0 away.

''It's obviously been a difficult week in a number of ways,'' Southgate said. ''However, we are in a position now where it's important to get the squad named. I'm looking forward now to working with the players because it's important that we build on the performance and the result against Slovakia.''

Teenage striker Rashford, a member of the squad at the European Championship in June, returns to the senior squad after scoring a hat trick last month on his debut for England's under 21s - coached by Southgate. Lingard, a winger, is uncapped but has started for United in recent games.

Southgate described the United men as ''exciting young players.''

Johnson last played for England at the 2014 World Cup and Oxlade-Chamberlain is back after a year's absence.

Southgate was without goalkeeper Jack Butland, defender Nathaniel Clyne, midfielder Adam Lallana and striker Harry Kane, who are all injured.


England squad:

Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster (Southampton), Joe Hart (Torino, loan from Manchester City), Tom Heaton (Burnley).

Defenders: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Glen Johnson (Stoke), Danny Rose (Tottenham), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kyle Walker (Tottenham).

Midfielders: Eric Dier (Tottenham), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Michail Antonio (West Ham), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Dele Alli (Tottenham).

Strikers: Wayne Rooney (Manchester United),�Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Jamie Vardy (Leicester)

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