Phil Foden repaid Gareth Southgate for his England recall with a delightful double after overcoming the “hardest moment” of his life.
The Three Lions ace scored his first goals for his country last night in a four-goal win over Iceland at Wembley.
It came just two months after Foden was sent home from Reykjavik in disgrace after the first Nations League clash for bringing two girls back to the team hotel with Mason Greenwood.
The Manchester City star, 20, said: “That was one of the hardest moments of my life.
“That’s the time you need the trust of your manager and Gareth had a lot of respect for me by playing me and trusting me.
“I’m happy to repay him with the goals and play well.
“I was determined to get back and do the best I can, I was a little bit nervous at the start but I got used to it.”
England boss Southgate recalled Foden after dropping him for last month's internationals for the Covid-19 rules breach.
And he helped inspire the Three Lions to finish their disappointing Nations League campaign on some sort of a high ahead of the World Cup qualifying campaign starting in March.
Declan Rice also got his first goal for England when he turned a Foden free-kick home after 20 minutes.
Mason Mount added a second before Foden's double after the break notched goals for England under Southgate.
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The Three Lions boss said: “We all make mistakes. It was important for him to feel a clean slate.
“I'm really pleased for him and his family. To have the experience he had in September was really tough for a young player.”
Southgate risked the wrath of club managers with a strong starting line-up for what was a dead rubber.
Tottenham striker Harry Kane played 76 minutes which may anger Spurs chief Jose Mourinho.
The Three Lions boss said: “We haven't picked that team for confrontation.
"We played our part by adapting our training, by rotating in the friendly, but we need to compete.”
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