Southgate's full of positivity

06 September 2013 08:46

England Under-21s may have only netted once against minnows Moldova but Gareth Southgate was pleased with what he saw during his first match in charge.

The former international last month signed a three-year deal to become head coach, with a remit of creating a winning team whilst developing young talent.

Southgate has spoken of his desire for the team to play with freedom and he got that this evening as England peppered the Moldova goal.

While debutant Saido Berahino's early strike was all the Young Lions had to show for their endeavours, Southgate was pleased with what he saw.

"I think that when we watch the game back there will be so many good things from it," he said.

"But obviously when it is 10 minutes until the end and they are starting to put free-kicks in your box, you run the risk of there being a punchline at the end you don't want.

"I am very pleased with so many things, though. I thought we controlled possession well, even when the goal didn't come we didn't panic.

"In the first half I think we needed to get more men in the box, more support up to Saido and probably to get crosses in slightly earlier because we made overlaps, made 2 v 1 situations and just needed to be a bit more ruthless around the box.

"That was the same in a different way in the second half, but there is lots I am very happy with."

The match came just a day after Football Association chairman Greg Dyke's hard-hitting speech bemoaning the current state of the national game.

Source: PA