England have been relegated from the UEFA Nations League following a 1-0 defeat to Italy.
Many think the nations league is a pointless competition, however it does give teams a chance to prepare before the World Cup this winter, but Gareth Southgate is under a lot of pressure to succeed following another poor result.
Back in June England lost 1-0 to Hungary, before drawing 1-1 with Germany. Another draw with Italy ended 0-0, before 4-0 drubbing by Hungary left England struggling to gain any momentum.
They then turned up against Italy needing a positive performance, but again failed to deliver, meaning they’ve only managed one goal in the group stages ahead of playing Germany in the final game.
After the game, manager Gareth Southgate said:
“We are where we are in terms of the timing, so we’ve got to do the best we can in terms of keeping the guys on track, the reaction to tonight will be guided by the result, but we weren’t far off in terms of the performance. I’ve got to keep the players believing in what they’re doing.
“We are in a run of bad results. It’s for us to put that right. The only way to do that is to stick with what we believe, stick with what’s got us success in previous tournaments, and in the end the players have got to stay really tight.
“There’s going to be a lot of noise but that will be around me and that’s absolutely fine. It’s my job to take that pressure for them.” England are one of two countries yet to score a non-penalty goal during this Nations League campaign, the other being San Marino, but Southgate maintained that he saw positive signs.
“It’s difficult for me to be too critical of the performance,” he said. “We had more possession, more shots, more shots on target. For large parts we played very well. We didn’t deal with the decisive moment defensively and we had moments to be more decisive in their final third and our quality wasn’t quite right.
“I thought there were a lot of positives tonight. A lot of good individual performances. I personally thought the performance was a step in the right direction but I perfectly understand that because of the result that’s not going to be the reaction.”