Waiting game for Southgate over duo’s fitness

England Under-21 manager Gareth Southgate.England Under-21 manager Gareth Southgate.
England Under-21 manager Gareth Southgate.
Jordon Ibe and Brendan Galloway are doubts for England Under-21s’ Euro 2017 qualifying double-header.

Boss Gareth Southgate is sweating on the fitness of the duo as his patched-up side prepare for Thursday’s game in Bosnia and Monday’s visit of Switzerland.

Liverpool’s Ibe – the less likely of the two to make it – came off in their 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace on Sunday with a suspected hamstring injury, while Galloway played in Everton’s 1-1 draw at West Ham but is being assessed by England’s medical team at St George’s Park.

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Southgate has already lost Norwich winger Nathan Redmond to injury and seen Tottenham pair Eric Dier and Dele Alli move to the senior squad.

England fly to Bosnia today and Southgate must wait to discover if Ibe and Galloway, who is yet to make his Under-21 debut, are fit to join them.

“We are having to assess what we’ve got and form a plan off the back of that,” he said.

“Jordon is being assessed by the club, we’re waiting for the outcome of that. He’s not been able to report yet, he went off towards the end of the game and they’re having a look at him.

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“Hopefully he is okay and can travel and if not maybe we’d have to think about whether there’s another replacement to bring in.

“Brendan is being assessed now, he is with us. It’s a muscular injury but we don’t want to take any chances. Maybe he is okay for Thursday, maybe he is okay for Monday. We don’t know.”

Redmond missed Norwich’s 1-0 win over Swansea at the weekend - with Birmingham’s Demarai Gray earning his first Under-21 call-up as a replacement.

Southgate added: “Nathan called pretty much straight away to let me know he wasn’t going to be available. He recognises he’s a senior player in the group and there’s a role to play.

“It doesn’t sound like he’ll be out for too long.”

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n Inverness midfielder Ryan Christie has pulled out of the Scotland Under-21 squad with a knee injury.

The news came as no surprise after the on-loan Celtic player was helped off during Caledoninan Thistle’s 3-1 victory over Motherwell on Saturday after twisting his knee.

Ricky Sbragia’s team take on Ukraine in a European qualifier at St Mirren Park on Friday.