‘I would have put my house on Defoe scoring’ – Southgate

Date published: Sunday 26th March 2017 7:10

Gareth Southgate: Not totally satisfield

England boss Gareth Southgate admitted he was not entirely satisfied despite England easing past Lithuania 2-0.

His side top Group F with 13 points from five games, but that didn’t stop Southgate from criticising certain elements of what was at times a lacklustre shwoing.

“We’d have liked a bit more, but I think really only one team came to win the game and it’s always difficult to break down a packed defence,” he said.

“I’m pleased for the two lads who have got the goals, a great story for Jermain and I felt Jamie added something to us.”

Asked about the areas for improvement, Southgate said: “I think today just moving the ball a bit quicker, more runs in behind, and we’ve got individual players who will play better than they did today.

“We kept pushing, it’s not as if we took our foot off the gas.”

Southgate also had words of praise for his young centre-backs John Stones and Michael Keane, in particular the latter whom he described as “excellent”.

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Sunday’s World Cup qualifier against Lithuania saw him win his long-awaited 56th cap, being deployed from the start at Wembley as England looked to prise open the visitors’ well-drilled, packed defence.

The decision paid dividends as Defoe swept home Raheem Sterling’s cross midway through the first half to set England on course for a straightforward 2-0 win.

“It’s a great moment for him,” Southgate said of England’s man of the match after his 20th international goal.

“He was thrilled to be back involved in the squad, I think he has enjoyed his week immensely.

“He’s been a good senior professional to have around the team, both in terms of the way he’s trained, his professionalism, which has been great for some of the younger players to see, and his finishing in training and then today, which we expected really.

“I would have put my house on him scoring at some stage today, so I think he’s had a really positive impact on everybody.”

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