Jamie Vardy determined to do his bit to keep England squad together at World Cup
The Leicester striker was an unused substitute against Tunisia.
Jamie Vardy insists England are in it together at the World Cup and will not allow their harmony to be disrupted by a glimpse of Steve Holland’s notes.
Gareth Southgate’s assistant was pictured at training on Thursday clutching a piece of paper with players listed in formation and in what could be interpreted as a pecking order for each position.
Holland apologised to the squad for allowing the snap to be taken, while Southgate and defender Kyle Walker both used media appearances to suggest reporters avoid leaking potentially helpful information to rivals.
Vardy, whose name was inked in underneath that of Marcus Rashford in the leaked image, rejected the idea it represented a tip-off for Sunday’s opponents Panama.
“All that is saying is telling our next opponents we’ve got 23 players in the squad and letting them know their names again,” he said.
“We find out the team on the morning of the game or the night before and until the gaffer names the team that’s the way it is.
“What the gaffer has said is everyone in the 23-man squad is going to be needed at some point, so we’ve just got to stay focused and put the effort in.
“The attitude and atmosphere is vital, you want to go the extra yard for your team-mates and the performance the other night showed that.”
Vardy was an unused substitute in the 2-1 win over Tunisia and faces one of the toughest battles for game time given he is effectively challenging for the same position as captain Harry Kane.
The Tottenham striker scored both goals in Volgograd and has 10 in 10 games during Southgate’s reign.
Asked if his consistency in front of goal was difficult to deal with in his role as de facto deputy, Vardy said: “He’s not annoying at all!
“At the end of the day we’re all here for the same reason. We just want to win as many games as possible and he just popped up with two goals that got us all three points.
“You’ve just got to keep going, make sure you’re putting the effort in on the training field, getting in the manager’s plans and hopefully if you get the chance make sure you stay there.
“I just do exactly what I do every day during the season: give as good as I can, give 110 per cent and if I get the opportunity that’s what I’ll be doing again.”