Callum Wilson's chilled reply to what Gareth Southgate told him before England World Cup debut

Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson is hoping to continue making an impact for England in Qatar following his assist off the bench against Iran on Monday.

Wilson set-up Jack Grealish as England got their World Cup campaign off to a flyer in Qatar with a 6-2 win. The 30-year-old will be hoping to be involved once again as England face USA on Friday (7pm kick-off).

But the Newcastle No. 9 had to wait to make his World Cup bow after initially being called to come on by Gareth Southgate only for the England boss to change his mind following an injury concern to Harry Maguire.

Hide Ad

Shortly afterwards, Wilson eventually replaced Harry Kane for the closing stages of the match.

Callum Wilson of England controls the ball during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between England and IR Iran at Khalifa International Stadium on November 21, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Speaking on England’s Lion’s Den broadcast, Wilson explained: “The manager has turned to me, Harry went down unfortunately so I started warming-up just to make sure I'm ready.

"The manager turned around and was like 'you're coming on' so I was like 'perfect', there was a few of us coming on at the time so I was already like ready anyway to be fair.

Hide Ad

"Then Maguire had a situation going on so the manager was like 'look, I'm going to leave it for a minute and then we'll revisit it in about five, 10 minutes'. I was like 'perfect, no worries'.”

Read More
Mehrdad Ghodoussi outlines Newcastle United St James’s Park ambition ahead of re...
Hide Ad

It was a remarkably calm reaction from Wilson as he had one of the most significant moments in his professional career delayed slightly.

The striker joked: “I've had bigger games on the Playstation!

Hide Ad

“For me I just take it in my stride you know? I'm enjoying the experience of being here and stuff so I knew if it's not going to be now, it might be the next game and then when it did come, I made sure I was mentally in the right place to try and affect the game.”

On his assist, Wilson added: “As I'm running through on goal, I've took a touch and I've looked up to see everyone running back. The goalie's narrowing the angle, I took another touch, looked again and I thought 'it's tight here'.

Hide Ad

"It's one of them where I can guarantee a goal [or] go for it myself. I decided to square it and obviously Jack owes me one! I'm calling in some favours!”