Southgate hails side’s resilience
ENGLAND boss Gareth Southgate praised his side’s defensive qualities as they held Brazil to a goalless draw at Wembley.
Following the 0-0 draw with Germany on Friday, Southgate is taking the positives from keeping Neymar, Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus quiet.
“In terms of heart, resilience and spirit it was up there with anything I have been involved in,” Southgate said.
“Young players digging in, we just couldn’t move the ball as well as the other night.
“Tonight we just showed resilience, guts and some really outstanding defending against a top, top side. I am incredibly proud of what the players have done.
“We had the best defensive record in qualifying, we have just played the best two teams in the world and managed to keep two clean sheets, which gives us something to build on.
“We know we need to be better with the ball, I thought we were a bit anxious, but even then when you dig in like we did you get half-chances at the end, which could win you the game. “It is a base to work from.” Liverpool defender Joe Gomez was making his first start and particularly impressed.
Southgate added: “I thought all of the defending was outstanding, but him in particular, to come in for a game like that, with little experience, it was a really top, top performance.”
Goalkeeper Joe Hart, back in the team after Jordan Pickford played against Germany, also praised the players in front of him as Brazil drew a blank.
“We were playing the best team in the world at the moment, I thought they were brilliant,” Hart said. “We had a game-plan to play in the first half and they made that hard for us so we had to adapt on the pitch and we did.”