Jamie Vardy claimed Gareth Southgate has been “brilliant” in his tenure as interim head coach, despite England conceding two late goals to draw 2-2 with Spain at Wembley on Tuesday.
The hosts had led through Adam Lallana’s ninth-minute penalty and Jamie Vardy’s goal early in the second half, but Iago Aspas pulled one back in the 89th minute, before Isco struck deep into injury time to deny England.
The Football Association is now set to decide if Southgate will be handed the job on a long-term basis, the former Middlesbrough manager having been elevated from his role coaching the Under-21s to take over from Sam Allardyce, whose ill-fated reign as Roy Hodgson’s successor ended after just one match when he was snared in a newspaper sting.
And Southgate has at least one admirer in the form of Leicester City striker Vardy.
“He has been brilliant,” Vardy told ITV when asked about the temporary boss.
“He has not changed too much but you have seen in the performance that we came with a plan. It was not to be at the end of the game.”
Vardy’s effort three minutes into the second half ended a 15-match drought, the 29-year-old having not scored at club or international level since finding the back of the net in a 4-1 defeat at Liverpool in the Premier League in September.
“Yeah it’s finally over, let’s hope there’s more to come,” he said.
Jordan Henderson, standing in as skipper in place of the injured Wayne Rooney, felt his team-mates had done everything required of them to earn a positive result in London, only to let themselves down late on.
“I thought we worked really hard so to concede two goals so late on is really disappointing,” he told ITV.
“We gave everything. We created chances and looked dangerous on the counter, they didn’t create many chances.
“We’ll go away, we’ll have a look back at the game. We matched Spain in terms of work rate and effort, there were a lot of good things. But to reflect on that so soon after conceding those goals is hard.”
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