MASON MOUNT has thanked Gareth Southgate for being involved in England’s Euro 2020 preparations – even when sitting alone in a hotel bedroom.
The England midfielder, along with team-mate Ben Chillwell, was deemed as a close contact of Scotland’s Billy Gilmour who tested positive for Covid-19 after the 0-0 draw at Wembley.
The Three Lions pair were forced to self-isolate for 10 days.
That meant Mount, who helped England to deliver a 4-0 hammering to Ukraine last night, missed the 1-0 win over Czech Republic and was an unused substitute for the 2-0 victory over Germany.
Mount was also forced to self isolate in March 2020 after Callum-Hudson Odoi tested positive for coronavirus although he angered Chelsea after being pictured having a kickaround in the park with Declan Rice.
Mount and Chilwell took part in Southgate’s team meeting via Zoom as they were not allowed in the same room as their team-mates.
Chelsea midfielder Mount said: “It would have been easy to push us aside, not have us involved for ten days but we were in all of the meetings virtually through Zoom.
“We were involved in all the info going into games even though we weren’t involved.
“It was good to still be there, get the info, understand what the boys were doing and we watched the game, supported them from inside our rooms.
“When you’re in that situation, it’s frustrating but you have to keep focused and keep your head and see the bigger picture because we all want to win this tournament and if we’re going to do that, we have to do it together.
“I’ve experienced something similar to that but, for me, and for Chilly as well, we had to stay strong, look at the bigger picture and focus on when we could come out of the isolation and what we can do.
“We did that, we stayed strong and worked hard every day and for me to come out, play tonight and the performance we put on was brilliant.
“All that hard work we’ve been doing obviously pays off.”
Mount will be hoping to keep his place for the semi-final against Denmark on Wednesday.
Under Southgate, England also reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia and also the last four of the Uefa Nations league finals in 2019.
He added: “The gaffer said in the changing rooms that it’s three semi finals in three years so now our massive focus is to go further, is to go and win the game and then go into the final.
“We had a goal at the start of the tournament and we’re still pushing towards that. This is another step in the right direction.
“What a performance, there’s a lot of positives from the game, there’s stuff we can look at but it’s a special game but now we will look to the next one.”
England drew 0-0 away to Denmark in September 2020 in the Nations League but lost 1-0 at Wembley a month later.
Mount said: “We played them not too long ago. We know they’re a very good team, very passionate and it’s going to be a big, big test.
“It’s going to be a tough game so we have to be ready and bring the sort of intensity that we brought to the game against Ukraine.”
⚽ Follow ALL of the latest news and updates from Euro 2020 with our live blog