Thursday’s England squad announcement was a significant one for those hoping to be on the plane to Qatar in just two months’ time.
Players named in the 28-strong list are leading the way for the World Cup, but those left out have work to do between now and until the squad deadline on 13 November.
One of those up against it is Manchester United winger Jadon Sancho, who was once again omitted by England boss Gareth Southgate and earned the last of his 23 caps in October 2021.
“There were certain players we wanted to keep involved this time,” said Southgate on Thursday. “But that said it doesn’t mean that this is the end for some of the others who aren’t involved.”
But Sancho set about trying to prove Southgate wrong in perfect fashion just hours after the announcement, scoring the opening goal in United’s 2-0 Europa League victory at Sheriff Tiraspol.
“It is disappointing not to get a call-up but I have to keep working hard and hopefully I do get the call-up for the World Cup,” the 22-year-old said afterwards.
“I just have to focus on myself an carry on working hard.”