England attack did not quite click – Southgate

england-attack-did-not-quite-click-–-southgate
England boss Gareth Southgate shakes hands with James Maddison
England failed to win a European Championship qualifier for just the second time in 23 attempts

England boss Gareth Southgate accepts his side did not “quite click” in attack as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Ukraine in their Euro 2024 qualifier.

Oleksandr Zinchenko opened the scoring for the hosts in a match played in Poland because of the ongoing Russian invasion in their homeland.

But Kyle Walker equalised with his first international goal.

“We’re not going to win every game by fours and sevens,” said Southgate.

“That was a really good test – away from home, very passionate atmosphere, quite a few changes forced from the last game.

“Sometimes, especially with attacking play, it doesn’t quite click. We know that the patterns that we worked during the week are what we always do, so it’s not that we approach the game in a different way.”

The point ended England’s 100% record in Group C after they had won all four of their previous games.

They are still in a very strong position as they sit top of the standings with 13 points, six ahead of second-place Ukraine.

England faced an intimidating atmosphere in Saturday’s game, with Ukraine backed by 40,000 fans inside the Tarczynski Arena.

“I think what I liked was the control of the game that we had when you come into an intense atmosphere,” Southgate added.

“I thought we played with real composure up until the final third and then I think by the time we scored the goal we’d had over 70 per cent of the ball but that was our first attempt on target.”

Former England international Dion Dublin however said England need to find another level to show they are capable of winning tournaments.

“It is time for England to win something,” he said on Channel 4.

“I want to see more from this England side, They are fantastic players but more is needed. There has to be more to come.

“Can England go to the next level, and that is winning things? That performance shows me there is work to do.”

Walker ends long wait

Kyle Walker celebrates his first England goal
Kyle Walker could not hide his joy at scoring his first England goal

While it was a disappointing England performance, the match will live long in the memory of Manchester City full-back Walker.

His goal, scored after he was picked out by a brilliant ball from Harry Kane, was his first for his country in 77 appearances.

“It was a relief,” he said. “To represent your country and be as fortunate as I have this many times, it had been on my mind but now I can finally tick it off.

“I’ve played with H [Harry Kane] for a number of years now and I know he likes to drop deep and spot that run. I saw the gap. I am pleased I could contribute at that end but my main job is stopping goals.”

Kane added: “We have a joke about it for every camp and I said before you retire I’ll give you a penalty. I am delighted for him.”

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