Published: Sat, October 13, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Gareth Southgate says England playing four-man defence a positive

Gareth Southgate says England playing four-man defence a positive

While some Premier League managers have questioned the logic behind another competitive tournament and many fans have admitted confusion at the concept, Cascarino says the games will be an important part of Southgate's project.

Croatia rode their luck at times in a match that was played behind closed doors as punishment for a swastika that was marked on the pitch ahead of a Euro 2016 qualifier against Italy.

The game was built up by some English media as a chance for the visitors to avenge Croatia's 2-1 World Cup semi-final win in Russian Federation in July but the game failed to produce any fireworks.

However, in Friday's 0-0 draw against Croatia, the side who beat them on penalties to reach the World Cup final just three months before, Southgate fielded a conventional back four.

Eric Dier and Harry Kane also hit the woodwork for the visitors, who enjoyed the better of a subdued game befitting of the weird atmosphere.

At 18 years and 201 days old, Sancho is second only to Manchester United legend Duncan Edwards, who was 18 years 183 days old when he made his debut for England in 1955.

And the 2018 FIFA World Cup finalists appeared to miss the backing of their home fans as they struggled to make their mark on the match, with England dominating after a poor first half from both sides.

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There was precious little else of note in a largely drab half in Rijeka, where Croatia found the best way to stop England's rapid attackers was scything them down.

Henderson's own yellow card in the sixth minute rules him out of Monday's trip to Seville, where England will face another top-level midfield.

The game's first shot on target did not arrive until the 37th minute, when Andrej Kramaric failed to truly test Jordan Pickford from the centre of the box.

The only chance in the first half fell to Dier, who glanced his header against the far post after a Jordan Henderson corner.

Rashford tried his luck from distance and Perisic stung the palms of Pickford when play resumed, before England struck the woodwork again.

"It was not easy to come back after such a big defeat".

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