Gareth Southgate optimistic about England’s progress despite Belgium defeat

first_img Southgate made eight changes for England’s final group game 3 Januzaj’s moment of brilliance inflicted defeat on the Three Lions “In terms of the game I think it was pretty even. I think Belgium had better controlled possession at times.“Their system was a problem for us, ours was a problem for them but Belgium kept the ball a bit better than us.“In terms of attacks and chances I think we had just as much as they did. I think everyone could see what we were trying to do. We were trying to get a result from the game.“I think we’ve known we’re a work-in progress all along. There is no doubt about that and it’s good for us to have a reminder of that. 3 England’s best chance of the game came when Rashford put wide an effort when clean through on goal center_img Marcus Rashford missed a huge chance to level the game up on 66 minutes but the Three Lions were forced to settle with finishing second in Group G.Defeat means England will play Group H winners Colombia in the last 16 at the Spartak Stadium on Tuesday night, while Belgium will face Japan on Monday night.And Southgate was relishing the prospect of a World Cup tie against the South American side.Speaking to talkSPORT after the game, the England boss said: “It’s a fantastic game for everyone to look forward to. Tonight was always going to be a little bit strange but our support was brilliant as always and we really appreciate all the support from back home as well. 3 “We don’t like losing but there will be a lot of things we can take from this game that we’ll be better for.”England 0-1 Belgium: Three Lions rated and slatedSouthgate chose to leave out England captain Harry Kane on the bench despite the fact the striker is currently top of the World Cup goal scoring charts with five strikes from two games.The Tottenham man bagged a brace in England’s 2-1 victory over Tunisia before scoring a hat-trick in the Three Lions’ second game against Panama.But Southgate was full of praise for Kane, who reportedly took the news that he wouldn’t be starting the Belgium game “brilliantly.”When asked about whether it was tough to leave out Kane, Southgate said: “Yes it was because we want him [Kane] to have that individual success of being the leading goal scorer.“He didn’t even think twice when I had the conversation with him, his reaction was brilliant as I expected of him. It shows what an outstanding captain he’s becoming.“It was hugely important that players who hadn’t played had minutes behind them for the next round and that we’ve protected the players we’ve played up until now.“The next round is the most important game.”talkSPORT will be with listeners all day and all night at this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with over 800 hours of World Cup content and all 64 games live across the talkSPORT network. Gareth Southgate claimed England will take a lot from their final World Cup group game despite losing 1-0 to Belgium in a fairly uneventful contest at the Kaliningrad Stadium.A beautiful curling shot by Adnan Januzaj proved to be the winner as both Southgate and Belgium boss Roberto Martinez fielded weakened teams knowing they were already through.last_img read more

December 26, 2019 0