Gareth Southgate justified the replacement of Harry Kane during England’s boring goalless draw with Scotland by saying that removing their captain gave his team more energy up front.
The England manager was left with concerns about Kane’s form after his team, which has four points from its first two games in Group D, walked away with boos at Wembley on Friday night. The forward was poor again after struggling in last Sunday’s win over Croatia and Southgate, who had no complaints about boos getting the full-time whistle, felt that bringing in Marcus Rashford would cause more trouble for Scotland’s defense.
“I felt like we needed a few more races back and that Marcus would give us that energy,” Southgate said. “We have to base these decisions on what we see. We have to be better and that starts with me. We did not have enough goal attempts and we must analyze that in the next few days.
“It was really difficult to find space tonight. Scotland defended very well and we couldn’t open them. I think I know exactly where this team is: they are a very young team and some of them will not have experienced a night with that intensity and pressure. They will have learned from that. “
Kane, who was also substituted against Croatia, admitted that he could not complain about being replaced in the 74th minute. “It’s part of the game,” he told ITV. “The manager felt it was the right decision, so you just have to make it. It is what it is.”
England’s performance did not increase confidence in their chances of winning Euro 2020. They are second in the group and need to beat the Czech Republic on Tuesday to ensure they qualify for the knockout stages in first place.
Southgate’s team will need to improve when they face the Czechs, who are ahead of them on goal difference. England created little against Scotland, who have hopes of reaching the round of 16 before taking on Croatia, and Southgate was forced to defend his approach.
“I would say we have a fourth attacking player in [Mason] Ride throughout the game, ”he said. “If we were to chase to win with no consequence to concede, you could approach it differently, but it was a night where it was a bit frantic, there wasn’t a lot of control. It’s easy to bet towards the end, lose the game, and you’re punishing yourself for not managing the tournament.
“I think we could have been more decisive, but Scotland defended those areas well. We know that we did not reach the level that we wanted or needed, but we have to accept everything that comes our way. I totally understand it as a manager. What we have to do is make sure we support the players. Young players need everyone’s support. They will recover, but they need everyone to support them. “
Southgate didn’t object to the crowd’s reaction. “Our fans have the right to react however they want,” he said. “We are disappointed in our own performance. We are expected to beat Scotland. “
Scotland impressed, with Billy Gilmour superb in midfield, and recovered well after losing to the Czechs in their opening match. “I am proud of the players and pleased for them because they were too criticized after the result against the Czech Republic,” said Steve Clarke.
“We have been improving for a long time. The motivating factor was getting something out of the game to give us a chance to get into the last game to qualify. We played well ”. Clarke was delighted with Gilmour, who was running midfield after learning he was a starter when Scotland traveled to Wembley. “I don’t think there is any element of risk when you have a player with Billy’s talent,” said the Scotland coach. “I think you also have to look at the team’s performance. There were a lot of good performances. “
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism