England need to improve to win honours, says Gareth Southgate

Gareth Southgate says Engeland must do more if they are to fulfil their potential and hit the standards required to win major honours.

Goals from Harry Kane and Mason Mount either side of half-time gave Southgate’s side what was, after a slow start, a comfortable win in Albania to ensure they go into Wednesday’s meeting against Poland with a 100% record from two World Cup qualifiers. But Southgate was critical of England’s game management in the latter stages and urged his players to improve if they are to meet the lofty expectations bestowed upon them for a largely home-based Euro 2020 campaign.

“We have to keep pushing this group of players," hy het gesê. “There’s a lot of talk about us and what we potentially might be, but if we want to deliver we’ve got to have really high standards. I think we can get better. They should enjoy the win but I think we can improve.

“I was very pleased with the performance, we’ve had two good performances this week. I’m pushing for a bit more because I think that’s the standard we’ve got to set if we want to be a really top team.” England did not add to Mount’s cool 63rd-minute finish, which came from Kane’s assist, and allowed Albania to apply modest pressure late on. There was never any sense their lead would slip but Southgate expressed concern that proceedings could have been seen out more clinically, telling his players higher-ranking opponents may have punished them.

“We controlled most of the game and should have scored more," hy het gesê. “I didn’t particularly like the way we managed the last 15 minute. I thought there were decisions we made that needed to be better in order to either score more or not invite pressure.

“There are times when you [have to] learn how to see games through, it was about decision making as a collective. The game was won by that stage but I’m determined that our standards have got to be really high.” Southgate spoke glowingly of Mount, who overcame an early error to show why he has become fundamental to the side, and suggested critics of the midfielder have changed their tune since January’s managerial change at Chelsea.

“He’s a very good player and I was saying it in the autumn," hy het gesê. “I suppose now Thomas Tuchel picks him everybody will agree, when it was Frank [Lampard] it didn’t count for some reason. I thought his performance was excellent tonight.”

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