England assistant manager Steve Holland had high praise for Wolves captain Conor Coady earlier this week.
He said: “My player of the tournament so far is Conor Coady, I would say. He’s not got on the pitch yet, but on the training pitch he gives everything.
“In the dressing room before the game, he speaks like he’s captain despite the fact he’s not been on the pitch yet. That’s incredibly difficult to do.”
On England’s official YouTube channel, those comments were put to Coady and he offered his reaction.
“It was incredible,” said Coady. “It’s incredible. I saw it a couple of days ago and honestly, I can’t be more thankful for something like that.
“It’s been a a little bit different, the role I’ve had here. We’re all in it for the same goal, the same prize – we all want the same thing to happen at the end of it.
“It’s no different whether you’re playing or not playing as much which is something I’ve done.
“To see praise like that from someone of what Steve’s done in the game and the people he’s coached… he’s an incredible football coach. It’s incredible.”
There’s a danger that Holland’s comments could have come across patronising but it’s clear Coady didn’t take them that way.
With 15 players not starting every game and three not even on the bench, taking squad members who would still show a good attitude if they’re not involved was imperative.
England have clearly got that right and Coady is still a big leader in the group without playing a minute.
It would be surprising if he got gametime against Italy tomorrow but don’t underestimate Coady’s contribution to this England squad.
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