Monday, July 15, 2024
HomePremier LeagueSouthgate admits he was close to substituting England hero

Southgate admits he was close to substituting England hero

Gareth Southgate admitted he was considering substituting Jude Bellingham before the midfielder’s dramatic equaliser in England’s 2-1 win over Slovakia.

England are into the quarter-finals of Euro 2024 after a 2-1 win over Slovakia in extra time, with the Three Lions reliant on a 95th-minute equaliser from Bellingham that forced the added period.


Southgate’s side had struggled in a disappointing display in Gelsenkirchen and fell behind to Ivan Schranz’s first-half goal for Slovakia. England had not recorded a shot on target in the game as the tie headed into stoppage time but Bellingham’s outstanding overhead kick drew the teams level.

Harry Kane scored the winner early into extra time to set up a quarter-final with Switzerland next weekend.

Southgate spoke on his pride at the spirit his players showed and revealed Bellingham was almost brought off moments before his match-turning moment.

“I’m so proud of the players and the spirit the lads showed. Everybody we put into the game played a part and helped us get over the line,” Southgate said to BBC Sport.

“They are all pushing and helping each other and tonight, that made the difference.”

On Bellingham, who celebrated his 21st birthday yesterday, Southgate added: “Fantastic. We were thinking should we take him off, but you know he is capable of those sorts of moments. We know in the game itself we needed to better with the ball, we couldn’t find the right solutions in the first half and we did it better in the second.


“Under that pressure they kept probing. In the end it is the old fashioned long throw that gets the goal, those moments can happen when you keep wearing a team down.

“I had a funny feeling the game wasn’t dead and I know that sounds ridiculous. We were pushing and probing,” Southgate said to BBC Radio 5 Live.

“Ultimately it is the one we have thrown in the box that got us the goal.

“With 15 minutes to go you wonder if he is out on his feet. Him and Harry Kane produce those moments and that is why you don’t makes changes when people are clamouring for more changes. We had enough attacking players on the pitch.”

Read – Bellingham confident he can deliver in big moments for England

See more – Bellingham brilliance ensures England stumble on at Euro 2024

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