Southgate: There is a lot for us to work on

England manager Gareth Southgate said his players have a lot to work on tactically ahead of their round-of-16 clash against Colombia.

England manager Gareth Southgate during a training session.   -  Getty Images

In England's final group stage game against Belgium, Gareth Southgate made as many as eight changes to the side that demolished Panama 6-1 the other night. While the bench strength was tested, England didn't have a good outing losing 1-0 to finish second in Group G in the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Southgate said his players have a lot to work on tactically ahead of their round-of-16 clash against Colombia. "The game was a really big test for us. Despite all the changes the quality was harder than our earlier games. Belgium had more of the possession, but in terms of chances it was even. Tactically there's a lot for us to go back and rework. We have everybody to select from for the knockout after the knocking for all the players today," he said, after his side lost to Belgium in its last group stage match.

Read: Belgium scrapes past England, tops group

Southgate defended his wards and said they didn't have a bad game. "We have played extremely well in the tournament and even tonight we didn't play poorly, maybe we didn't have too many run-ins behind the defence but a lot of good individual performances and that's good. The supporters also understand and everyone knows the most important games are the knockouts."

Talking about the upcoming clash against Colombia, the England manager said: "Colombia has a couple of outstanding individuals but I believe that's a game we can win. We know how good we have to be to win matches to win against big teams and it's going to be massive for us."

Also read: Won't take any team lightly, says Martinez post England win

Southgate lauded the youngsters in the team but said there is a lot of work to be done. "We are showing signs of being an excellent football team, it's exciting to see Trent, Ruben doing well in a stage like this. We are still not a finished article and we still have some work to do and we are realistic about where we are.

"We saw Japan and Colombia losing a key player and thankfully we didn't had to take the risk. We can start preparing the players for the next game from day after. We have done different studies and individual practice for penalties since March. We need to be mentally prepared for going into extra-time and beyond," Southgate concluded.

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