gareth southgate england

Southgate warns England will be ‘punished’ as he criticises defending from the front

Gareth Southgate has warned England will be ‘punished’ without defensive improvement and has criticised his side’s defending from the front in the 1-0 win against Romania.

England secured a narrow 1-0 win over Romania in their final warm-up fixture ahead of Euro 2020, with Marcus Rashford scoring the only goal of the game from the penalty spot as a rotated side secured victory at the Riverside Stadium.


Southgate’s side were without several senior names with players from Manchester City and Chelsea not included following their Champions League final exploits, with Sam Johnstone making his debut in goal and Rashford captaining the side in the absence of Harry Kane.

Jack Grealish was again an impressive performer after starring in the win over Austria last week, though Southgate has warned his side must improve as the Three Lions prepare to begin their European Championship campaign against Croatia on June 13.

“I didn’t like us without the ball in the first half but that was the whole team,” said Southgate. “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 a doubt, we can improve on that.

“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.”

Read – Five of the best players from Euro ’96

Read Also – Euro 96: Remembering the England XI that suffered semi-final heartbreak against Germany

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