South­gate: I take re­spon­si­bil­ity for wrong for­ma­tion

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Sport Euro 2020 qualifier - By Matt Law in Prague

Gareth South­gate said his Eng­land team suf­fered a re­al­ity check af­ter fall­ing to their first qual­i­fi­ca­tion de­feat for 10 years against the Czech Repub­lic. The man­ager ad­mit­ted his share of the blame, by con­ced­ing his change of for­ma­tion was wrong and that he had picked play­ers who have not been per­form­ing for their clubs.

Cen­tral de­fender Michael Keane and left-back Danny Rose came in for the most crit­i­cism, as goals from Jakub Brabec and sub­sti­tute Zdenek On­drasek se­cured a 2-1 Euro 2020 qual­i­fy­ing vic­tory for Czech Repub­lic af­ter Harry Kane had put Eng­land ahead from the penalty spot.

Eng­land last lost a qual­i­fy­ing game against Ukraine in 2009 and asked whether the shock de­feat in Prague was a wake-up call, South­gate said: “We have had a lot of plau­dits, but there is a lot of work to be done to be a re­ally top team – tonight was clear ev­i­dence of that.

“We have to re­spond in the right way. We have a cou­ple of days to pre­pare and we have to re­ward our sup­port­ers with a bet­ter per­for­mance [against Bul­garia on Mon­day]. There were not many pos­i­tives. We ac­cept de­feat and ac­cept we have to be bet­ter than we were.” He added: “We weren’t good enough.”

South­gate was forced to change for­ma­tion at half-time af­ter ex­per­i­ment­ing with a new set-up, while ques­tions will be asked of his de­ci­sion to stick with Keane and Rose, who have been strug­gling for Ever­ton and Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur. “I al­ways have to ac­cept re­spon­si­bil­ity,” he said. “We tried some­thing to be more solid with­out the ball and that did not hap­pen.

“We were poorer us­ing the ball in the first half. That said, at 1-1 we were able to change that, were bet­ter in the sec­ond half and we cre­ated chances to win the game.

“In terms of the play­ers, there are play­ers who are not playing well for their clubs. We col­lec­tively have to ac­cept the re­sult, but as man­ager I have to ac­cept the re­spon­si­bil­ity.”

Rose is now sus­pended for Mon­day’s qual­i­fier against Bul­garia in Sofia and South­gate said: “It is clear we have to im­prove with­out the ball. Over a pe­riod of time it has not sur­prised us, we have spo­ken about it all week. We did not get the re­ac­tion we needed.

“It is not a time to look at in­di­vid­u­als be­cause we have to get back on track for Mon­day. It is go­ing to be an in­ter­est­ing cou­ple of days be­cause we have not had a re­sult like that or a per­for­mance like that.

“We will learn a lot about our­selves over the next 48 to 72 hours. We have to re­spond in the right way. This is foot­ball. All the play­ers in their ca­reers and for us as coach­ing staff, foot­ball is all about re­spond­ing to set­backs. We have not had many, so it feels more un­pleas­ant and it is a while since we felt this way.

“To sail through the qual­i­fy­ing group with­out is­sues is un­usual, we have to re­spond. I ex­pect us to do that.”

Kane, the Eng­land cap­tain, added: “There’s still stuff to work on for sure. We gave the ball away too cheaply and we’ll have to go away and look at it. There’s no need to panic and we’ll go again on Mon­day.”

Chelsea man­ager Frank Lam­pard (left) and the Duke of Cam­bridge, Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent, watched Eng­land’s match at a pub in Bat­tersea

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.