At one time all England games were played at Wembley.

That was understandable given the stadium but then the decision was made for various matches, usually friendlies, to be played around the country, especially up north in Manchester etc to repay supporters who otherwise had to make the long journeys to London at their own expense.

Then, I think probably because of the extra passion and support they had given to the team in the smaller than Wembley grounds, The FA opted to play some competitive games around the country too.

We have one coming up on Tuesday night here at St Mary’s.

It’s great for the area as this game will be televised all around Europe being part of the qualifiers for the European Championships.

Of course, there will be a full house and, with due respect, I am not sure many will be over from Kosovo.

I think one of the differences as well now and mainly because of the increase of players from abroad in the Premier League is that the England team will have a few players who some supporters may not necessarily have watched all that much.

I have said before there are less English players in the Premier League now than ever before and this makes Gareth Southgate’s job a little more difficult.

I remember that in the old days England were always the strongest of the four home nations. Scotland were not far behind with Wales and Ireland joint third because of the lack of numbers.

I know when I managed Northern Ireland, I rarely went to First Division games, as they were in those days. Most of my players were in the lower leagues. Wales were the same.

Every top flight dressing room usually had two or three Scotsmen, which I used to joke meant you had a row, and three or four Welshmen, which meant you and a choir.

How many Scottish players are in Premier League dressing rooms nowadays? Unfortunately, England are now in a similar position.

I believe it is under 20 per cent now in the Premier League so let’s hope Gareth’s squad can prove that they are still good enough to get to finals.

A lot of the current squad have obviously come through the ranks with teams such as the under-17s and under-21s who have had some success. Also, it gets them used to the difference in international football.

I remember my time looking after the B team and under-21s.

I would have seen a player who was outstanding when I went to watch his club performances but was possibly not the same when he was away from his teammates and mixing for the days leading up the game with other players from other clubs who he had only met for 90 minutes at a time on the pitch.

I am really looking forward to the game.

One interesting story is the player Tyrone Mings, who apparently was released from Saints and imagine how he will feel if he starts the game coming out on to the pitch where he had only ever played youth games before.

There are a few others who I personally do not recognise but I am sure everyone will be behind all of the players on this particular night where normally they would want them to miss the goal or lose out in tackles etc.

Gareth Southgate has quietly got on with the job.

Hopefully he will have had a good result against Bulgaria because the difficult thing for all international mangers is that as soon as the players are out of the shower and dressed on Tuesday night they will probably shake hands with everyone, say goodbye to the manager and staff and he won’t have them together again until the next international fixtures another month down the line.

In club football you can get together the next day, talk about what went well and what didn’t and work on these aspects.

This is a huge frustration.

Gareth and his staff will return to going to league games every week and the ritual of praying their best players do not get injured or suspended.

The good parts are when the season is over and they can spend much longer together and gel to get the results needed to get us to the finals.

I am sure he will have the whole country behind him.