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I’ve been a ‘lost soul’ during mate Mason Mount’s isolation, jokes Declan Rice

By June 25, 2021No Comments

England midfielder Declan Rice says team-mate Mason Mount has tested negative in his latest coronavirus check as his self-isolation nears an end.

The Chelsea star, along with Ben Chilwell, was forced to quarantine for 10 days after coming into close contact with Scotland midfielder and club-mate Billy Gilmour, who tested positive for the virus after the 0-0 draw with the Three Lions last Friday.

Rice joked that he had missed his best friend around the camp but said that Mount was remaining positive.

He said: “I’ve been a lost soul. A few of the lads have come up to me and said I look lost and we’ve had a bit of banter.

“He’s been all right, hopefully he is out in the next couple of days. I spoke to him yesterday and he tested negative again, so I am hoping he can be back with the group soon.

“He has just been on Netflix watching things. We have had little chats on FaceTime and things, he has been positive and been keeping himself fit in the room.

“Hopefully we can have him out soon with a negative test and that will be a massive boost.”

I’ve been a ‘lost soul’ during mate Mason Mount’s isolation, jokes Declan Rice PLZ Soccer
Mason Mount (left) and Scotland’s Billy Gilmour, his Chelsea team-mate (Mike Egerton/PA).

Mount and Chilwell, who has yet to feature in the tournament, were the only players who missed training on Friday, but the former can come out of isolation in time to be involved in Tuesday’s mouth-watering Euro 2020 last-16 tie with Germany remains to be seen.

England’s reward for winning Group D is a clash with Joachim Low’s side at Wembley, but, should they come through that, they appear to have, on paper at least, a favourable-looking route to the final.

Rice, whose only memory of England-Germany encounters at tournaments is the 2010 World Cup defeat famous for Frank Lampard’s ghost goal, would prefer to face the tougher teams earlier on in order to knock them out.

“The draw could have gone either way, we would have taken anyone because in this tournament you have to beat the best if you want to win it,” he said.

“Whether we come up against them in the round of 16 or the quarters it doesn’t matter because no game is easy in this tournament. In the end you are going to face one of them.

“I would rather play one of them earlier and knock them out early. We know Germany is going to be such a tough game.”

England won their group without conceding a goal, but they managed just two at the other end over the three games and have come in for criticism for their lack of attacking threat

Rice, though, views the team’s solidity as a positive and expects the creative players to come good.

“We have looked really solid. There have been a few top teams in the tournament who have conceded goals and we are yet to do that,” he said.

“We are solid and strong and we know what we are out there to do. As the rounds are going to go on we are going to keep progressing and get better.

“We know that as players, when we qualified for this tournament we were beating teams 4-0, 5-0, 6-0. But we are not worried. We know as a team we can score more goals, that will come as the tournament progresses.

“I feel like most people overthink that too much. We were top of the group, we didn’t concede a goal, a lot of top sides conceded goals.

“If we are going to go on and win this tournament then we need to have zeroes, we need to keep the ball out of the net. But of course we need to flourish at the top end as well.

I’ve been a ‘lost soul’ during mate Mason Mount’s isolation, jokes Declan Rice PLZ Soccer
Having done it for West Ham, Declan Rice would be happy to step up and take a penalty for England (Justin Setterfield/PA).

“We have got that world-class talent, we have got the players to go out and put the ball in the back of the net.”

A knock-out game against Germany at a major tournament inevitably conjures up painful memories of penalty shoot-outs given the semi-final defeats at the 1990 World Cup and Euro 96.

And West Ham midfielder Rice would be willing to step up should it go that far on Tuesday.

“Definitely. If you’d have asked me a couple of years ago I probably would have said no,” he said. “But as I am starting to take responsibility at club level now, it is about a process in the mind and knowing you can go up there and put the ball in the back of the net.

“At the World Cup we were successful and also at the Nations League, so as a group we know the process we have got to go through.”

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