That’s according to manager Gareth Southgate, who has suggested that the Three Lions could have played their warm-up matches for the tournament on Tyneside.
England played Austria and Romania at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium last week, winning both matches 1-0 ahead of Sunday’s Euro 2020 curtain-raiser against Croatia.
But the boss has claimed that he and his players could have quite easily been walking out at St. James’ Park.
He said: "The initial decisions come from the FA.
"They wanted to take the team to the North East and we were hoping to play at Newcastle as well.
"If we had the opportunity with full stadiums and without having to set the stadiums up for Covid, we would have liked to have used both stadiums.
"When I knew we were coming to the North East, I knew the training facilities here were a fabulous environment.
"It has been great and very relaxed for the boys."
Southgate also made the call to bring Toon coach Graeme Jones into his setup for the tournament, and has revealed that his previous experiences with Belgium in major competitions was a big factor in that appointment.
Speaking about the decision to bring Jones on board, Southgate said: “I’ve known Graeme quite a while – he’s got fantastic experiences of tournament football of course with Belgium and Roberto Martinez.”
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