England boss Southgate thinking about return to 3-man defence


Gareth Southgate is thinking about returning to the 3-man backline that served England so nicely at the Planet Cup in a bid to shore up their leaky defence.

Dreadful person errors in final month’s five-three win against Kosovo have been compounded by an even shakier defensive show on Friday, when the Czech Republic inflicted the 3 Lions’ initially qualification defeat in a decade.

Harry Kane’s early penalty was all also effortlessly cancelled out by Jakub Brabec from a corner, with substitute Zdenek Ondrasek sealing a memorable two-1 comeback win immediately after England overplayed at the back and Jordan Pickford’s clipped pass out was picked off.

England suffered their first qualifying defeat in a decade against the Czech Republic
England suffered their initially qualifying defeat in a decade against the Czech Republic (Nick Potts/PA)

Southgate felt a lot of the defensive concerns in Prague came from “giving the ball also cheaply”, as nicely as needlessly enabling the Czechs to show their set-piece prowess.

And even though the 57-cap former centre-back did not really feel the defence was England’s most significant trouble on the evening, he is toying with the thought of returning to a back 3 flanked by flying complete-backs.

“I assume we are in a tricky scenario in terms of the players that have played international football with us in that location of the pitch and who are playing frequently with their clubs,” Southgate mentioned.

“So, that is portion of the purpose we didn’t do that (against the Czech Republic).

“It’s surely anything we’ve deemed and I do not assume we can dismiss.

“I’m not positive, ahead of Monday, if that is the appropriate factor to do but we’re extremely conscious and assessing these issues.”

John Stones is unavailable via injury this month and Kyle Walker – one more member of the back 3 in Russia – has once more been omitted from the group.

Kyle Walker (left) and John Stones formed part of England's defence at the World Cup (
Kyle Walker and John Stones formed portion of England’s defence at the Planet Cup (Mike Egerton/PA)

Joe Gomez, a favourite of Southgate, is in the squad but is not beginning frequently for Liverpool, even though uncapped Fikayo Tomori and Tyrone Mings join wobbly Michael Keane and established Harry Maguire as the centre-back possibilities this time.

Asked if there is sufficient time to implement a defensive switch in technique just before Euro 2020, Southgate mentioned: “I assume so, I assume players take in tactical ideas extremely rapidly, in particular leading players.

“So, we have to maintain reflecting on what’s operating, what’s probable and study from just about every expertise we have.

“We’ll study a lot from (the Czech game). We’ve had simple qualifying games that haven’t challenged us.

“(This) was a correct test and we didn’t come via, so it would be naive not to take the lessons from what we’ve observed on the pitch.”

Southgate is “under no illusions as to exactly where we stand” and desires a optimistic response from his players in Monday’s trip to Bulgaria.

England will qualify for Euro 2020 with a win in Sofia ought to Kosovo fail to beat Montenegro, but the loss in the Czech Republic will hurt – and possibly supplies a timely reality verify as excitement builds ahead of playing a great deal of Euro 2020 on property soil.

“Look, it is not for me to inform the public not to dream and not to have hope,” Southgate mentioned.

“I assume internally, we have to be various and be realistic and we haven’t changed our tone on that at all.

“We know our strengths and we know the places we have to increase upon. We’ve talked about it all through the week and we’ve had proof of it (against the Czech Republic)

“So, I do not assume any of us inside the camp are beneath any illusions.

“To be a actually leading group, with players with expertise of winning the most significant matches, we’re nonetheless some way from that.

“But we discovered a way to progress via the Planet Cup with what was a comparatively inexperienced group and that is what we’re generally attempting to do: to uncover options to bring some superior players via.

“The reality of football is you are not going to cruise via a qualifying campaign like we have unless you are a super seasoned group who have a continuous higher level of efficiency.

“So, (this) is not a evening you want to be involved with since of the record there’s been, and you under no circumstances want to shed matches as an England manager, but it is anything that will galvanise us and make positive that we appear for a response on Monday and moving forwards.”

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