Southgate: We must learn quickly

England manager Gareth Southgate says that he is learning his team’s shortfalls after watching Tuesday’s 3-2 defeat to France.

A brace from Harry Kane was not enough against the 10-man French side, but Southgate says it was a useful exercise to assess his players.

"There was no point raising my voice but equally you can't sugarcoat what happened in that final 30 minutes, in particular"," he said.

"They know they are a very honest group of players. They are fully committed, I can't question what they've given. We've just got to learn quickly how to manage games in situations like that

"I am afraid there is no magic wand to that, but we're recognising where we are short, we are recognising where we can exploit teams. We've had some joy doing that. But our game without the ball has got to improve."

England are top of their World Cup qualifying group, but Southgate believes that friendlies against top teams like Germany (1-0 loss) and Spain (2-2 draw) will prepare them for Russia 2018.

"The only way you can understand what the gap is, is by playing against those three teams," he continued.

"If we'd played lesser teams and won, maybe we'd all be getting excited and thinking that we're better than we are. The reality is, find out exactly where you are against the very best.

"We've had two matches away and one at home, and for long periods we've equipped ourselves well but we've a bit to do and I think it's important that as a group of players and a group of staff we recognise that.

"We've got some young players coming through that have got really good potential and can be exciting, but there is no short cut."

Comments