Gareth Southgate discusses World Cup exit, France gameplan

Gareth Southgate discusses World Cup exit, France gameplan

England’s World Cup quarter-final loss to France was “exactly” what Gareth Southgate expected.

Gareth Southgate England performed well on Saturday night but lost 2-1 after Harry Kane missed a late penalty.

Southgate told Sky Sports one day after the painful loss: It’s a pretty unusual emotion because the conclusion of a tournament is so stark. Everyone’s packing up, you go through years of training, and then there’s that feeling—we were so close, and I was so thrilled with our performance.

“It’s an emotional rollercoaster since we could’ve done more, but I have few regrets.

Southgate said: “Flat. They knew they played well. Coaching and working with a team requires a distinct perspective on winning and losing.

“The way they’ve progressed and developed individually, the challenges they’ve overcome as a group, and the group of players who haven’t necessarily started many games have been phenomenal. Sometimes people think we talk about that to keep people happy, but it’s the reality of what we have here.

“We have several young players with tremendous match experience and the backbone of a squad that will be together for a long time.

Southgate also discussed how a “30-second span” decided the game:

“We knew we’d have more of the ball and that France would wait and strike you on counterattacks, so we had to be disciplined.

“We got the balance right most of the time, but we didn’t always. 30 seconds may change everything.

After falling early, the England manager praised his team’s resilience:

“It’s why, when we fell. They had the spirit to come through. It’s a game where you’re a goal behind, the opponents are dangerous on the attack, and a few years ago, we would’ve been swamped, but we rode that time and controlled the second half.

“That comes from the spirit, and at a time like today when some will be especially suffering because they will feel the duty, they shouldn’t. We’ve gone through too much as a team.

“Ultimately, we’ve fallen short, I can’t get away from that, and I also have to accept that, but we’re eating at the top table of global and European football routinely now, and if we’re in that spot [with the] depth of the team, then that’s exciting and essential for England.”