Southgate: Morrison volley not hype

18 November 2013 06:46

The video of Ravel Morrison's audacious mule-kick volley has gone viral online and highlights the creativity that so excites England Under-21s manager Gareth Southgate.

Having seemingly overcome a troubled start to his professional career, the 20-year-old midfield livewire is finally coming to the fore for the right reasons.

Morrison has shone for West Ham after breaking into the first-team this term and has become an important player for Southgate's Under-21s side.

Such performances have seen the Manchester United academy graduate's stock rise markedly - as have videos uploaded highlighting his incredible ability.

The latest shows Morrison score an incredibly powerful mule-kick volley during Under-21s training and has accrued more than one million views in 24 hours.

"It is not hype when it is a video of something he has done," Southgate said when asked about the goal.

"It is there for everyone to see what he is capable of.

"As a coach, I love the creativity of it because you could try a more straightforward finish and still not pull it off.

"It is not a case of being over-elaborate. That was a finish that is just as hard if you hit it with a side-foot volley or you do what he did.

"He did what he did and it is an incredible goal. It is interesting the mindset of a couple of our players because they are creative thinkers, definitely."

As well as Morrison, Southgate has the attacking threats of Wilfried Zaha, Raheem Sterling and Thomas Ince at his disposal.

Sometimes, though, they seem more bothered with step-overs and drag-backs than finding the back of the net - something evident during England's 3-0 win against Finland on Thursday.

"I think at times in areas on Thursday we were over-elaborate," Southgate said. "There were simple passes on and we didn't play them.

"I think it is a ruthlessness. We do some very exciting things and that is tempered by the fact the opposition, even at 2-0 down, didn't come out and try to open the game up at all.

"We are having to work in very tight areas around their penalty area, but I think it would be fair to say given the ability of the players we've got, we didn't create much on Thursday as we have done in previous games.

"That is why I was a little bit disappointed afterwards and continue to push for more because that is the only way we are going to improve."

The only player to show a clinical side against Finland will be unavailable for Tuesday's European Championship qualifier against San Marino.

Saido Berahino netted a brace against Finland, but was booked after his first goal for lifting up his shirt to show a tribute to his late father, incurring a ban that will see him miss the match in Shrewsbury.

"I did discuss the detail with him because it was a very personal situation," Southgate said.

"But I didn't need to go back over it in terms of acknowledging that he was going to be booked as he realised that mistake immediately.

"He is disappointed to miss the game. He is in a rich vein of form and he wants to play every time he comes with us. In that respect, he misses out and it a great shame."

Berahino's suspension saw Southgate call Patrick Bamford up to the Under-21s for the first time.

The MK Dons striker, on loan from Chelsea, has netted 12 goals in 20 League One appearances this season and has represented England at Under-18 and 19 levels.

"Patrick is a player that I knew from watching our Under-19s," Southgate said.

"I have been to Milton Keynes to watch him and we knew plenty about him from people at Chelsea, like (Under-21s assistant manager) Steve Holland.

"He was the next person on our radar to call into our squad and it is great that he can have a little feel about what we're about."

Source: PA

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 16:17