England manager Gareth Southgate has asked his squad to be truthful about their fitness ahead of a crucial World Cup quarter-final with Sweden.

Southgate's call for honesty comes after injury concerns were raised over Jamie Vardy. The Mail have reported that the Leicester City striker is the biggest doubt for the next game, after missing training on Thursday, due to a groin injury he suffered during England's victory on Tuesday.

The England manager is concerned that players may play down their injuries in order to secure a starting place in the next match. Southgate has stated that he does not want players to play through injuries at the expense of their performance. 

"It's not so much about taking a risk, its more about being able to perform. The lads would always be prepared to risk injury for these games. But that can't be at the detriment of performance.

"We've got to take performance decisions. For these games, they are not always as honest as they might be about how fit they are."

Southgate's comments are particularly relevant to Dele Alli, Ashley Young and Kyle Walker who all trained on Thursday despite requiring treatment after Tuesday's game. All three are hoping to be available for the quarter final clash, but it is likely that Southgate will assess their fitness before making his team selection.


Harry Kane also returned to training, easing concerns over his calf problem, with the Tottenham striker now expected to start against Sweden.