Declan Rice has found it ‘tough’ being away from good friend Mason Mount

Declan Rice admits it has been “tough” to be away from close friend Mason Mount as England continue preparations for their Euro 2020 last-16 clash with Germany.

Mount and his Chelsea team-mate Ben Chilwell have been self-isolating since coming into close contact with Billy Gilmour before the Scotland midfielder tested positive for Covid.

The duo missed Tuesday’s 1-0 win over the Czech Republic and while they have still been able to train, they have been away from the rest of the squad at St George’s Park.

Their period of isolation ends on Monday, just a day before a huge clash with Germany, and Rice said it had been hard to adjust to not having Mount around in recent days.

“It has been so weird,” he told Lion’s Den. “Obviously from when we lost them at Spurs before the Czech Republic game, with what happened and them having to isolate.

“The lads get on so well with them, to not have them around…it has been tough for me to be fair, not being able to see Mase but I’m sure now in the next couple of days he will be out and training again.

“I’ve spoken to Mase a couple of times on FaceTime, he is alright I think he is just bored now, but he is sweet and we have just been talking.”

England may have advanced into the knockout stages as winners of Group D but they only managed to score twice in their three games.

Rice believes performances will improve and that England are not the only nation yet to show what they are capable of at Euro 2020.

“I think the positives have been three clean sheets, we have been hard to beat, hard to break down,” he added.

“It is not only us (who can get better) but with all the top sides you have seen, not everyone has been at their absolute best yet and you can say that about a lot of the top nations.

“For us, we are just cooking but hopefully in the Germany game, we know what the occasion is, we have players who have played in top games already in their career and we will be ready to go out there and give it absolutely everything.”