Published: Sat, October 13, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Dora Pope

Distinct lack of England fans will give us major lift, says Southgate

Distinct lack of England fans will give us major lift, says Southgate

While some Premier League managers have questioned the logic behind another competitive tournament and many fans have admitted confusion at the concept, Cascarino says the games will be an important part of Southgate's project.

"He did something that none of the rest could do and that's control the tempo of a football match and when we talk about England not controlling a game, that's the thing the likes of Pirlo, Modric, Xabi Alonso and Xavi can do - they're the type of players you need at global level if you want to control games".

Neither side were in full flow in a tiresome atmosphere in Croatia, but England had the better of the chances with Harry Kane hitting the bar and having a goal ruled out for offside.

But he did add: "The atmosphere is not easy for anybody. It is sad for football but hopefully this is our last time", said Dalic. We were a real threat (against Croatia).

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The game was built up by some English media as a chance for the visitors to avenge Croatia's 2-1 World Cup semi-final win in Russian Federation in July but the game failed to produce any fireworks.

England improved after the break as Kane hit the woodwork before Rashford missed two fine chances, while Ante Rebic curled just wide for a Croatia side that had lost their Nations League opener 6-0 in Spain.

And Southgate explained one of the key reasons behind his shift in tactics is because he feels his team are no longer vulnerable as they once were. People like Harry Maguire, going into the World Cup, I felt we needed a bit more protection for the defence and the opportunity to get two forwards in the game.

England started to dominate play and Rashford should have put the visitors ahead after 55 minutes, but the flimsy finish with which he greeted an inviting Kyle Walker ball into the box left Dominik Livakovic with a comfortable save.

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