EURO 2020

Gareth Southgate Reportedly Blames England's Defensive Struggles on Lack of Application Shown by the Forwards

Arjun Singh Devgan
Gareth Southgate is the head coach of the England national team
Gareth Southgate is the head coach of the England national team / Pool/Getty Images

England national team head coach, Gareth Southgate believes that the sides forwards are to blame for their struggles at the back as their lack of pressing and not tracking back during their recent friendlies a cause of worry.

Southgate reportedly gave his front line a brutal assessment of their deficiencies when it came to their defensive duties during their game against Romania and despite the Three Lions registering clean sheets against Romania and Austria - it was more of a case of getting lucky and that they will get exposed when facing stronger sides.

"I didn't like us without the ball in the first half but that was the whole team. That started from the front. We weren’t disciplined in the way we defended. Our recovery runs were not good enough.
It meant that the midfield was stretched the back players had too many decisions to make. They were having to come in spaces where they shouldn’t have needed to be. Without doubt we can improve on that," he said post their second friendly.

"I have also got to allow the team that played the reality that we had made a lot of changes and had to preserve some players and give others minutes that they needed. There is a lot of work to be done on the training ground as without a doubt we cannot give up the number of chances and not expect to be punished.”

Southgate does not have too much time to fix the underlying issues as the Three Lions start their campaign on 13 June against Croatia.