England vs Italy: What did Gareth Southgate say about England’s qualification to Euro 2024?

Despite going behind to an early Gianluca Scamacca's goal, England fought back to beat Italy 3-1. Harry Kane scored twice and the other was netted by Marcus Rashford.

Gareth Southgate in a file photo (Image Credit: Twitter/@EURO2020)
By Karthik Raman | Oct 18, 2023 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

England booked their ticket to Euro 2024 in some style. The Three Lions registered a thrilling come-from-behind victory over Italy at Wembley Stadium to seal their place in next year’s tournament. The home side was in touching distance of booking a place at the upcoming European Championships before the match. They only needed one point to seal the deal, however, England were not only looking for a draw, as they got their rewards in the end.

Despite going behind to an early Gianluca Scamacca’s goal, England fought back to beat Italy 3-1. Harry Kane scored twice and the other was netted by Marcus Rashford. After securing the Euro 2024 ticket, Gareth Southgate expressed his delight with the team’s performance. “We’re so hungry, so eager to learn, so together. And you saw that in the performance tonight. We said before that mentality was the main thing. The performance was relentless tonight,” he told Channel 4, as quoted by skysports.com.

He added: “What was really pleasing was that when we went behind we stayed calm and used the ball calmly from the back. In other big games we have lost the ball too easily. Our forwards worked so hard. When your front players play like that it is a great thing for the team. There were times in the first half we were passive near our own goal. The biggest difference in the last couple of years is that we have more legs and physicality in midfield. You need to be outstanding without the ball against world-class teams.”

There is more to come from this team: Gareth Southgate

Southgate was also happy with what their forwards have all brought to the table for England. “They [our forwards] are all different and bring different qualities. We have dribblers, speed in behind and players who can come short. But you always need the work ethic. In the biggest games you can’t carry players and that really pleased me in the performance. Ideally, we would have everyone playing regularly, but you can see Kalvin (Phillips) and Harry (Maguire) were both outstanding tonight. They are both important for us,” he explained.

“They are up against really good players at their clubs. Kalvin has Rodri and (Mateo) Kovacic to compete with. But every time Kalvin plays for us he does a good job. We need to make sure we are one of the top seeds next month. We need to win our next two games. We want to be in control of that. We need to keep building. There is more to come from this team. This was the toughest qualifying group, with the seedings. People have criticised us for not beating the top teams enough. But we have performed really well.”

Gareth Southgate on Jude Bellingham

Southgate also reserved special praise for young midfield talent Jude Bellingham. Even though the Real Madrid star did not score a goal, he was at the heart of many good things done by England on the night. “His mentality is incredible. To show such maturity and humility at such a young age is incredible and we’re lucky to have him. I think he’s been a catalyst. I just think the way he carries himself and the way he plays on the field shows that,” he said.

“He has had that since he walked through the door frankly. Plus, the power in his play, that gives us something when you’re in tight situations and he can wriggle out of things. But I think that belief, that willingness to engage with the crowd, they are rare traits in a player so young.”

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