By Sami Mokbel for the Daily Mail
Published: 22:30 BST, 2 September 2020 | Updated: 07:25 BST, 3 September 2020
Gareth Southgate issued a passionate rallying cry to his squad as he praised his players for emerging as England's lockdown heroes.
The national team boss had not seen his players for 10 months prior to the current international break because of the coronavirus pandemic.
And Southgate took the opportunity on Monday night, just hours after his players reported for duty, to address them during a welcome briefing at the national football centre in Burton.
Gareth Southgate has reunited with his England squad after 10 months away from each other
England face Iceland away on Saturday before travelling to Denmark three days later
The England manager spoke of the challenges that have confronted football and society during the health crisis that has so far resulted in over 41,000 deaths in the UK alone.
But in acknowledging the difficulties that have faced the UK, he also lauded his players for the roles they played in lifting the nation's spirits.
Marcus Rashford and Jordan Henderson — who are both missing from the current squad through injury — have been at the forefront of successful social