Captain Jordan Henderson praised a “professional performance” from England in their 4-0 win over Malta but said they have to improve ahead of Monday’s crucial World Cup qualifier with Slovakia.
Harry Kane scored twice as Gareth Southgate’s side maintained their unbeaten record in Group F, albeit they were made to wait until the second half to break down their determined hosts at Ta’ Qali National Stadium on Friday.
Still, the away victory keeps England two points clear of nearest rivals Slovakia in the Group F table before their showdown at Wembley Stadium.
“Of course we’ve got things to improve on. We will look back at the performance tomorrow, and the day after,” Henderson told ITV.
“But I thought that it was a professional performance. We were solid at the back and kept persevering to get the goals in the end.
“There are positives to come out of it, but there’s also still a lot to improve on as well.”
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Henderson – who led England for the third time in his career – admitted Malta had made life tough in a first half that saw Phil Jones goal disallowed due to a foul at a corner.
After Kane finally put England ahead in the 53rd minute, Ryan Bertrand scored his first international goal with a long-range strike and substitute Danny Welbeck poked home to make it 3-0 in injury time.
It was left to Kane to round out the scoring, the Tottenham striker converting Marcus Rashford’s perfectly weighted aerial pass to give the final score a flattering look in England’s favour.
“They were difficult to break down. In the first half we didn’t have too many clear-cut chances,” Henderson added.
“We weren’t taking risks to break them down – you’ve got to take risks.
“We just knew at half time to keep persevering and, thankfully, we managed to score some good goals in the end.”
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