Southgate: England players tried to sort first-half issues themselves

Gareth Southgate England

Gareth Southgate says England have created a “demanding environment” that saw them overcome a lacklustre first-half display to beat Switzerland 1-0 at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday night.

Marcus Rashford scored the only goal of the game on 54 minutes when he converted Kyle Walker’s cross at the back post.

“There was a consequence of a lot of different things, we had a tactical problem to sort out and so many lads playing their first 45 minutes of the season,” Southgate told Sky Sports.

“It was a tall order to ask them to play against an excellent Switzerland side, they kept the ball well and we had to chase too much. There was plenty of room for improvement.

“We did not get hold of their pivot, Granit Xhaka was always available and Xherdan Shaqiri was dropping in to problem areas. We altered the shape in the second half, got the defence higher up and kept the ball better.

“The players were trying to sort things out for themselves before I got into changing room at half time and we had to correct things an challenge them. It was an important night to finish well. We new it would be difficult, the players have given everything this week. Two tough tests and in the end a good result tonight. We arguably deserved a draw against Spain on Saturday.

“We encourage and expect that, it is important the players have a view, they are intelligent footballers. We have a demanding environment.”