Published: Sun, October 13, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

England: Gareth Southgate considering defensive switch for Bulgaria game

England: Gareth Southgate considering defensive switch for Bulgaria game

England suffered a surprise loss in the game, their first defeat in a qualifier for 10 years.

England's ideal record in Euro 2020 qualifying ended in Prague on Friday despite Kane's early penalty putting Southgate's side ahead.

Zdenek Ondrasek struck the victor five minutes from time to end England's 43-match unbeaten run in Europan championship and World Cup qualifiers stretching back to 2009.

It felt, three months after their World Cup semi-final, as if they were reaching even closer to success than they did in Russian Federation.

And after the match, Southgate was blunt with his appraisal of his team's performance.

"I always have to accept responsibility. But we conceded too many poor chances and we gave the ball away too many times". We need to be better on the ball.

Maguire has struggled to live up to his status as the world's most expensive defender since moving to Old Trafford in the summer for £80m, with the former Leicester player again noticeably below his best against the Czechs. That is the situation we are in.

"We knew we'd have to be at full tilt to deal with the Czech Republic, but we should have been strong enough to deal with them".

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What a Friday night in Prague for FC Dallas striker Zdenek Ondrasek. There were not many positives.

Kane hit his 24th worldwide goal but the striker agreed with Southgate's assessment of England's below-par performance in Prague.

"We weren't fighting and pressing as much as we normally do", added Kane.

Even a hitherto ideal start to qualifying as England scored 19 goals in winning their first four games in Group A has masked defensive problems.

"We had a couple of chances to put the game to bed but didn't and unfortunately gave one away at the end".

"Every away game in Europe is hard. It was just one of them performances that sometimes you get, you get them sometimes, you can't just continually go on the rise all the time". It's a bit of a wake-up call.

"There's still stuff to work on for sure". The team looked wide open trying to play 4-2-3-1 in the first half against the Czech Republic and now Southgate is contemplating whether they need to return to a back three to improve defensive solidity.

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