Footage surfaces of Southgate asking Rashford, Saka and Sancho to take their penalties
The trio have again been praised for their bravery ahead of the shootout
Nearly a week has passed since England suffered penalty shootout heartbreak at the hands of Italy in the final of Euro 2020.
While there has been an undeniably sinister element to the fallout in the form of the sickening racist abuse of Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, the outpouring of support for the three players has - thankfully - drowned out the depressingly predictable reaction of a tiny minority.
Though the trio missed their spot-kicks at Wembley, the vast majority of those who watched it can appreciate the immense pressure of the situation and the bravery required to step up and take one in the first place.
Some had suggested that the players weren't quite ready to shoulder the stress of the circumstances they were thrust into - particularly Saka, who is still a teenager. Rashford and Sancho, meanwhile, had only just entered the game in the final seconds of extra-time. Surely, some suggested, they were in no fit state take the penalties.
Because of this, some fingers were pointed at Gareth Southgate.
Footage of the moments before the shootout, when Southgate was selecting his five penalty-takers, shows that the three players didn't hesitate when asked by their manager.
The England manager can be seen briefly speaking to Sancho, then Rashford and finally Saka as he prepares his team for the shootout.
As the tweet below points out, all players appear undaunted at the prospect.
This clip England have just released of Southgate asking sancho, rashford and saka to take the pens. Not an ounce of fear to be seen. Respect pic.twitter.com/gL1rHjpt6i
— Spencer Morgan (@spencermorgan93) July 16, 2021
Saka became the last of the three players to post a statement in reaction to the final. Shared to his social media channels on Thursday, he thanked those who had supported him and vowed not to be broken by his penalty miss or the negativity that followed.