Gareth Southgate says England are still under a transition phase
England head coach Gareth Southgate has said that the Three Lions are still in a transition phase and have plenty of work to do to emerge as a top team. The Three Lions recently suffered a 2-1 defeat to Czech Republic in a Euro 2020 qualifier and that was quite a shock, considering they had not lost a single qualifying game over the past 10 years.
Speaking after the defeat, Southgate said that the squad is still under development with a number of young players establishing themselves. He added that the qualifying can’t be regarded as a cake walk and he is hoping for a strong response when the Three Lions face Bulgaria on the road on Monday night.
“We’ve had a lot of plaudits but we’ve always maintained that there’s a lot of work to be done to be a really top team. Football is all about responding to setbacks. We haven’t had too many so it feels even more unpleasant because it’s a while since we’ve felt this way. None of us like it but that’s the reality and to sail through a qualifying group with no issue is very unusual,” he told.
England had a forgettable game against Czech Republic on the road and they struggled to pose a threat on the opposition goal barring the Harry Kane penalty at the beginning. Despite the loss, the Nations League semi-finalists are still at the top of the standings with superior goal difference over Czech Republic but they should progress directly to the competition barring another slipup during the qualification campaign.
Kosovo remain the immediate threat behind England and Czech Republic in Group A but they are presently four points behind, having played an extra match less. Kosovo have games against Montenegro, Czech Republic and England to complete the qualification phase.