Southgate explains how one England debutant has reached another level

Date published: Thursday 8th October 2020 10:50

Gareth Southgate admitted he was impressed by how his experimental England side came together to beat Wales in a friendly.

Southgate gave caps to several players relatively untested at international level, but England were still comfortable as they claimed a 3-0 win.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored on his England debut, with Conor Coady and Danny Ings also getting their first international goals.

As well as Calvert-Lewin, Southgate also gave debuts to Bukayo Saka, Reece James and Harvey Barnes.

And the England boss was impressed by how his young lineup gelled together.

He told ITV: “I thought the players did very well.

“It’s so difficult for a new team to come together without much experience. I thought they coped with that very well.

“It was not fluid at the start but we got more and more into the game, the players saw the tactical problems Wales posed to us when they were pressing and I thought we finished strongly.”


Southgate praises Calvert-Lewin and Grealish

Elaborating further on Calvert-Lewin’s impact in particular, Southgate praised the striker for adding the goals he has needed to take his game to another level.

The Everton striker has started the season in fine form at club level, and continued his confidence in front of goal by heading home the opener.

Of Calvert-Lewin’s performance, Southgate said: “Excellent, really very good. He had excellent presence, his runs are a threat, he presses well and he took his goal well. I thought he could be really pleased.

“I think he is in a really good vein of form. He’s an all-round centre forward. I’ve always liked his general play but it’s the goals that are making him another level of player.”

There was also a first international start for Jack Grealish, who provided the assist for Calvert-Lewin’s goal.

And Southgate said the Aston Villa star should be proud of his efforts against Wales.

He added: “His work with the ball was very good. We know he draws those fouls, he’s comfortable receiving the ball in tight areas and again it was a debut he could be really pleased with.”

READ MORE: Southgate reveals talks with Solskjaer after disagreement over Greenwood

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