POS­I­TIVES IN DE­FEAT

South­gate happy with progress de­spite Eng­land los­ing to Ger­many

New Straits Times - - Sport -

It’s never nice to lose, but I have to be pleased with the way the play­ers played and how our tac­ti­cal sys­tem worked.

GARETH SOUTH­GATE

Gable ARETH South­gate was

to take heart from a pos­i­tive dis­play de­spite his first de­feat as Eng­land man­ager, 1-0 to Ger­many in Dort­mund on Wednesday.

South­gate, 46, had been un­de­feated in four games as in­terim man­ager fol­low­ing Sam Al­lardyce’s abrupt de­par­ture last year.

“I take a lot of en­cour­age­ment from that de­spite the re­sult,” said South­gate.

“It’s never nice to lose, but I have to be pleased with the way the play­ers played and how our tac­ti­cal sys­tem worked.” South­gate hailed Lukas Podol­ski’s sec­ond-half thun­der­bolt goal on his fi­nal ap­pear­ance for Ger­many, but noted that Eng­land out­played the world cham­pi­ons for long spells.

“It was an in­cred­i­ble strike, but from (goal­keeper) Joe Hart’s point of view it was pretty un­stop­pable,” ad­mit­ted South­gate.

Gary Cahill cap­tained Eng­land as part of back-three along­side Michael Keane, who was mak­ing his de­but, and Chris Smalling.

Southamp­ton’s James WardProwse and Nathan Redmond also won their first Eng­land caps.

Adam Lal­lana hit the post and Dele Alli saw a shot blocked at point-blank range as Eng­land ruled the first half in a cre­ative, threat­en­ing and en­er­getic dis­play.

“I thought we were the bet­ter side up un­til their win­ning goal, that was a good learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for our young play­ers who made their de­buts,” said South­gate.

“All that was miss­ing was the fin­ish to get the win­ning goal which I felt we de­served.”

South­gate saw plenty of plus points to take forward into Sunday’s World Cup qual­i­fier against Lithua­nia at Wem­b­ley.

“We walked through the three­man de­fence a few times and only had lim­ited chances to pre­pare it,” said South­gate.

“Michael Keane had an ex­cel­lent de­but and the sys­tem is per­fect for Lal­lana and Dele Alli.

“I have seen Ger­many pin teams back with the sys­tem we have played in the past, I didn’t want us to be on the back foot and we cre­ated the good chances we had.

“It’s a great op­tion for us to have. We have to play spe­cific sys­tems for spe­cific games, but we need to be flex­i­ble. I de­cided on the sys­tem six weeks ago af­ter watch­ing Ger­many.

“I was de­lighted with the way the team im­ple­mented it, but we won’t nec­es­sar­ily do that for ev­ery game. It’s very ex­cit­ing for what we can do mov­ing forward.”

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