Harry Kane admitted that England were too “sloppy” as Gareth Southgate’s side laboured to a 2-0 win over Malta in their penultimate Euro 2024 qualifier.
The Three Lions were gifted an early lead thanks to an own goal from Enrico Pepe, but failed to have a shot on target in the opening hour of the game at Wembley.
Kane put the hosts 2-0 up in the 75th minute, while Declan Rice had a goal ruled out for offside shortly thereafter as they moved one step closer to securing a top seed at next summer’s tournament.
“It was not our finest performance, but sometimes you play a team who have got more quality than people think,” the Bayern Munich striker told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“At the start, we missed the right tempo. We were sloppy and couldn’t quite build. In the second half we had more control and created chances. But overall it’s a 2-0 win.
“We’re playing a lot of games at the moment. We have some injuries and the players coming in have to perform.
“All the players who started weren’t at their usual standard but that’s football. We maybe felt mental fatigue a little bit. We are top and have one game – hopefully we finish with a win.”