GARETH SOUTHGATE has defended England’s lack of ambition in Denmark this week and insisted a Nations League point was a good result after a turbulent few days, writes Matthew Nash.
The Three Lions boss (pictured) spoke of three weeks of ‘mayhem’ in this international window following a win in Iceland and Tuesday’s drab 0-0 draw.
The week was overshadowed by Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood being sent home for inviting two women back to the team hotel in Iceland and Southgate said the result against Denmark could have been worse given the disruption, despite criticism over England’s cautious approach.
‘On the back of everything the last couple of days, we needed to be secure and solid — if we’d been open and lightweight and looked a mess it could have been a different sort of outcome with everyone pointing to what happened yesterday as the cause of it,’ he claimed.
‘We just needed a solid base to work from, we then tried to accelerate the game but weren’t quite able to turn that into a win at the end.’
As well as handing out four new caps in Copenhagen, Southgate went with three at the back and, with two holding midfielders, the tactics seemed to stifle the game. He added: ‘There are some real plusses from individual performances — Eric Dier, Conor Coady in particular.’