Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Headlines

Southgate vows to stick to principles despite Spain defeat

Gareth Southgate says England still have work to do if they are to be challengers at Euro 2020 © AFP / Glyn KIRK

LONDON, United Kingdom, Sep 9Gareth Southgate pledged to stick to his principles after Spain delivered an uncomfortable reality check at Wembley but admitted he was unsure whether England had time to become genuine Euro 2020 challengers.

England were surprise World Cup semi-finalists in July, riding a wave of euphoria back home, but their 2-1 Nations League defeat on Saturday was their third consecutive loss.

Even during their morale-boosting run in Russia, manager Southgate warned there was still work to do and the performance at Wembley underlined that message.

Marcus Rashford struck early for England but Saul Niguez levelled for Spain moments later and Rodrigo scored the winning goal later in the first half.

Substitute Danny Welbeck saw a stoppage-time leveller controversially ruled out, meaning England head into Tuesday’s friendly against Switzerland reeling from three successive defeats in all competitions for the first time since 1988.

Spain, who bowed out in the World Cup last-16 after a torrid campaign, nevertheless showed the benefits of a long-established identity and a level of creativity sorely lacking in England’s midfield.

England took the lead against Spain through Marcus Rashford (left) in their UEFA Nations League clash but conceded twice to lose 2-1 © AFP / Glyn KIRK

Southgate said he was unsure whether his side could close the gap to the top teams before the next European Championship, in which the semi-finals and final will be played at Wembley.

“I think we’ve got some players who can and have shown tonight they can perform at that level, and there’s some that are still a work in progress,” he said.

“We have got 19 matches, it’s not very long, but, in my opinion, we have got the best group of players in the country here.

“I think we have got to keep faith in the way we’re trying to play, otherwise we go back to what we did historically and there’s no way I believe we’ll ever be a top team if we do that,” Southgate added.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Southgate plans to rotate his side at the King Power Stadium in Leicester and intends to bring in reinforcements from the Under-21s squad.

Manchester United defender Luke Shaw left the field on a stretcher against Spain after a heavy fall but said he was “doing fine”.

Tottenham full-back Kieran Trippier said there was no reason for alarm despite the defeat, which follows losses to Croatia in the last four in Russia and to Belgium in the third-place play-off.

“It is not a concern,” he said. “We are building and that is all we can do, play against these teams. We want to test ourselves against the best and certainly tonight we put up a fight.

“We knew it was going to be a difficult game. These are the teams we want to play against.”

Advertisement

More on Capital Sports

Football

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 25 – There is light at the end of the tunnel. After failed promises over the last three years since its...

Athletics

NAIROBI, Kenya, June 8 – Olympic Champion Caster Semenya and wife Violet Raseboya have hinted that they might be expecting a baby in a...

Features

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 17 – The Kakamega High School ‘Green Commandos’ have produced a plethora of talent over the past decades in Kenyan football...

NFL

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 13 – Kenya’s history making Daniel Adongo, the first Kenyan to play in America’s National Football League (NFL), is now living...

© 2020 Capital Digital Media. Capital Group Limited. All Rights Reserved