England manager Gareth Southgate said he was impressed by his side’s clinical showing in the first half of their 7-0 victory over Montenegro on Thursday evening.
Harry Kane scored a hat-trick before the break and Ben Chilwell chipped in with three assists on the night as the Three Lions booked their place at the Euro 2020 finals in style.
Elsewhere in a ruthless first half, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored his first England goal since June 2017 and Marcus Rashford also netted and speaking to ITV Sport after the match, Southgate praised his side’s attacking intent.
When asked about what pleased him most about the win, the manager said: “I think it was the attacking play in the first half in particular, really good movement, some super quality of passing and crossing and clinical finishing.
“We know it’s a group that we should win comfortably but you can see around Europe that there are other countries that struggle to score goals like we have.”
Southgate was also quizzed on whether his side had met weaker opposition in qualifying or whether England deserve extra credit for their performances.
He said: “In the past, we’ve maybe struggled against those lower-ranked teams who defend in numbers. We’ve got players that can open those teams up and a style of play that can do that, so for sure it’s a group we expected to win but we’ve done it clinically.”
Asked about whether his side can replicate such performances at Euro 2020 next summer, Southgate insisted that his team are not perfect yet.
“We have to get both ends of the pitch right. We conceded a couple of chances tonight that we shouldn’t and they’re the sort of clinical things that we’ll have to be better at.
“There’s still work to do without the ball but we are improving.”
England travel to Kosovo on Sunday in their final qualifying game.