Southgate draws positives after gutsy display in Brazil stalemate

Despite being without several regulars through injury, Gareth Southgate's England managed to keep Brazil's attack at bay.

England midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek heads off   -  Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Gareth Southgate believes England now have a "base to work from" after recording back-to-back clean sheets against Germany and Brazil.

Pitched against the top two teams in the world rankings, Southgate was delighted with the resilient nature of his side's performances as it looks to put down solid foundations ahead of next year's World Cup.

READ: Gomez impresses as England stifles Neymar and company

Joe Gomez produced a man-of-the-match display on his full debut as Brazil struggled to break down a home side that once again lined up in a 3-5-2 system.

England could even have grabbed victory in the closing stages but substitute Dominic Solanke failed to mark his international bow with a late winner, prodding his close-range attempt at advancing goalkeeper Alisson at Wembley Stadium.

 

"We had the best defensive record in Europe in qualifying, now we've played the best two teams in the world and kept two clean sheets. That gives us something to build on," Southgate said.

"We know we need to be better with the ball than we were tonight — I thought we were a bit anxious with it – but even then when you dig in, you get half chances at the end that could win you the game. It's a base to work from."

Already without a number of regulars, Southgate saw Ruben Loftus-Cheek forced off in the first half with an apparent back injury.

ALSO READ: Facing Brazil a 'great experience', admits grounded Gomez

However, he was full of pride for the way his depleted side stood up to the test of taking on a full-strength Brazil.

"In terms of heart, resilience and spirit, [that performance] is up there with anything I've been involved in," Southgate said.

"Young players digging in, we just couldn't move the ball as well as we did the other night. The other night we showed really good qualities with the ball, and some defensive prowess.

"Tonight we showed resilience, guts and some really outstanding defending against a top, top team. I'm incredibly proud of what the team has done."

Support Sportstar


Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

  Dugout videos