Monday, July 15, 2024

Walker defends Southgate´s tactics following England draw

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 20 Jun 2024

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Kyle Walker was quick to defend Gareth Southgate and his tactics following England’s 1-1 draw with Denmark.

The Three Lions took the lead in the 18th minute through Harry Kane after a nervous start in Frankfurt, but as it played out against Serbia, were unable to build on their lead.

A criticism of Southgate during his England has been the defensive nature of his team when scoring the opening goal, despite the plethora of talent at his disposal.

But unlike their Group C opener, this time his side were punished when Morten Hjulmand took aim from distance and fired an effort beyond the grasp of Jordan Pickford.

“The manager has expressed that he wants us to play free, attacking football,” Walker told BBC Sport when asked if Southgate’s instructions were to sit back after taking the lead.

“Sometimes, in tournament football, you have to manage the game, it is what it is that is why it is so hard to win tournaments, just like the Champions League.

“It’s tough when you come to these grounds and in hostile environments, but we know that we can do better. But, we are top of the group, so let’s move on to that.”

Walker, who made his 85th appearance for England against Denmark, is one of the more experienced heads in the Three Lions’ ranks and is vice-captain to former team-mate Kane.

When asked what he would say to the squad following the result, Walker: “They will know as individuals and as a team collective, we all know that we have another gear, but we have not lost the game.

“Obviously, everyone wants us to come and steam roll teams three or four nil, but it’s not football, it’s not football these days.

“We have got a point, we will move on. We are top of the group, and we just keep going like that.”

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