Southgate pleased by England's 'different face' against the United States

By Sports Desk November 25, 2022 160

Gareth Southgate believes England showed a different side of their play against the United States, securing what he feels is a valuable point.

The Three Lions missed the chance to become the first side to book their spot in the knockout stages after being held to a goalless draw by the USA, in a game where England's creativity and threat in the final third was lacking.

Instead, it was the USA who had the better opportunities throughout, Christian Pulisic striking the frame of the goal, while England were forced to adopt a more conservative approach than they did in their demolition of Iran.

Southgate is adamant a successful team needs to be able to show variation in a tournament, and gave a positive assessment of the performance.

"I'm really pleased with the application of the players, it's a really tough opponent, they played incredibly well," he said in the post-match press conference.

"To come off the high of the performance the other day and find that same energy, level of quality, it was always going to be a challenge.

"Their front six make it so difficult to play through and get at their defence, I thought we controlled the game really well, our two centre-backs were absolutely outstanding with the ball.

"To play with that sort of composure under the pressure and angles that the USA press with is difficult and it's only when you have two players like we have where you begin to appreciate the strain of the game that they can take.

"We lacked zip and control in the final third, we didn't really create enough in the final third, but we had a chance to show another side of ourselves in terms of the resilience, the recovery runs, covering our box well.

"To be a successful team in a tournament, you have to show those different faces and I think we did that tonight. I'm sure there will be a lot of noise about the performance but not many teams go through the World Cup and get nine points in the group.

"We're in a good position, we've got a little bit to do to qualify still, but we also have the opportunity to win the group.

"The players were very down and disappointed after the game but I told them that isn't how it's going to be for the next few days because I thought they showed another side to what they are about and it's going to be important moving forward."

Kieran Trippier echoed Southgate's assessment of the point being an important one, highlighting how the likes of Germany and Argentina have suffered surprising defeats so far in Qatar.

"The USA are a good side. Every single team in our group is top 20. You can't underestimate any of them," he told Stats Perform.

"You have to give respect to them. We knew it was going to be a tough game. You see the past results, they're a good side, a very good side.

"You look at other results in the tournament, and there are some big results gone against them. We've got to take positives. It's a good point.

"We're not at all [concerned about creativity]. Of course, in the final third there were some moments where we could be better, of course, but it's the second game in, four points on the board in the group, it's only positive from myself and the team.

"I think the motivation's there. England-Wales is a massive game. All we can do now is recover, review the game where we could have done better, and get ready for the next battle."

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Last modified on Friday, 25 November 2022 19:26
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