Home / Sports / Gareth Southgate says England playing four-man defence a positive | Football News

Gareth Southgate says England playing four-man defence a positive | Football News

Last Updated: 13/10/18 11:25am

Gareth Southgate had previously favoured a back five

Gareth Southgate had previously favoured a back five

Gareth Southgate had previously favoured a back five

Gareth Southgate believes England are experienced enough to compete against the top teams with a back four, which will allow them to boost their attacking options.

England played three centre-backs throughout the World Cup in Russia as Southgate’s inexperienced side endeavoured to reach their first semi-final at the tournament in 28 years.

However, in Friday’s 0-0 draw against Croatia, the side who beat them on penalties to reach the World Cup final just three months before, Southgate fielded a conventional back four.

3:07
Highlights of England’s trip to Croatia in the UEFA Nations League Group A

Highlights of England’s trip to Croatia in the UEFA Nations League Group A

“In the last few matches, we have been pinned back in different ways,” Southgate said.

“With three opponents pinning our five back – against Spain that was the two wingers and centre-forward, against Switzerland that was the wing-backs – so we were then getting outnumbered without the ball.

“We’d also had some problems building up against the pressure, so tonight I was really pleased that we did both things very well.

5:01
Ben Chilwell spoke to Sky Sports after making his first England start

Ben Chilwell spoke to Sky Sports after making his first England start

“We were able to get more pressure higher up the pitch, we were able to get tighter to their midfielder. I thought our three midfield players did an excellent job.

“We used the ball well against a very good team, so very pleased with it. The players adapted quickly and well.

“The three at the back, the 3-5-2, allowed some players to bed into international football. People like (Harry) Maguire.

6:30
Southgate says England could have beaten Croatia if they were more ruthless

Southgate says England could have beaten Croatia if they were more ruthless

“Going into the World Cup, I felt we needed a little bit more protection for the defence and the opportunity to get two forwards in the game.

“Now, I think some of those players are a bit more established. They look very comfortable as a back four.

“So, I think that gives us good opportunities because some of the players that we’ve got coming through – we’ve got some very strong No 8s and wingers coming through the system – so it’s good that we have got the opportunity to play
different systems.”

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