Gordon straight back in saddle to help England move through the gears

Winger is strong believer in mental preparation and will not let bike accident affect him if picked against Slovakia

There is, frankly, only one place to start with Anthony Gordon and it is not only because he is handed a pair of stabilisers as a present when he walks in to address the media – a reference to his much talked-about and laughed-about bike crash on Wednesday during England’s recovery day.

It is hard to ignore the cuts and grazes, especially the deep red one in the middle of his chin. There are some on the Newcastle winger’s nose and arms, while they are also all over his hands. When somebody goes to shake with him, he pulls away defensively, which does not suggest he is battle-ready for Sunday’s last-16 tie against Slovakia. It turns out to be wrong. He says he is completely fine. So what happened?

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