We made lots of simple mistakes: Gareth Southgate on Hungary draw

England’s below-par performance saw them held to a 1-1 draw with Hungary in their World Cup Qualifier.

Gareth Southgate in a file photo. (Image: Twitter)

England manager Gareth Southgate was not pleased with his side’s draw against Hungary, labeling it as “disappointing”. He feels that his team made lots of simple mistakes during the draw at Wembley. England’s below-par performance saw them held to a 1-1 draw with Hungary in their World Cup Qualifier. It all began when Luke Shaw was judged to have caught Loic Nego with a high boot, handing the visitors a penalty, as Hungary took a shock lead. Roland Sallai made no mistake in dispatching the penalty before John Stones equalised shortly after. However, England were not able to build on that equaliser and find a winner despite possessing a plethora of attacking talent.

“It was a disappointing performance. Full credit to Hungary, I thought they caused us a tactical problem. We weren’t fluid and I didn’t think we played at the level we needed to play,” Southgate was quoted as saying by skysports.com. “It’s difficult to pinpoint. We’ll go away and think of the balance of the team a little bit, but individually, we can do better as well and we made lots of simple mistakes with the ball.

“I think we have to accept that we dipped below our usual levels. That was a surprise, but it was a night where individually and collectively, we didn’t hit the heights we have been… we didn’t quite do enough to win the game. We didn’t create as much as we would have hoped, but we have to give Hungary credit to that. We lost a little bit of positional discipline at times so there’s a lot for us to reflect on and work on.

‘We’d struggled to create many clear chances’

Speaking about the change in the system, Southgate said, “We wanted to try to get a spark. We’d struggled to create many clear chances and hoped freshness at that stage may have been able to produce that. We changed the system because we were a little open in counter-attacks and we had to solidify from that to start with. We hadn’t been opening them up with 4-3-3, and so with two 10s and wing-backs we wanted to try to pose them a different problem. But we didn’t create any more chances than we had been.”

“I thought we were a bit anxious with some of our passing and I thought we were trying to force things a little bit. We needed to simplify our game a little bit and move the ball more quickly at times. Lots that we can go away and feel like we should have been better at.”

Southgate: We shouldn’t judge things on one game

In the midfield, Southgate opted to play Declan Rice, Phil Foden and Mason Mount together. But, the manager did not point fingers at an individual and felt that the fluidity was not there in their game like it used to be.

He added: “We’ve been 4-3-3 a lot, but with different profile of number eights. Today we wanted to look at something a bit different and didn’t have Phillips anyway, who has been an essential part of that midfield, and we knew we had to break a packed defence tonight. I’m not certain it was about the profile of players… we didn’t have the same fluidity we’ve come to expect.

“We shouldn’t judge things on one game in terms of that sort of experiment because right across the board from the start, we weren’t sharp with our play. We gave the ball away, we were overrunning things and I think we were underneath it. It’s the first time in a long time and we have to hold our hands up to that.”

The result means England need four points from their final two games against Albania and San Marino to qualify as Group I winners. “It was one of those nights where we started poorly, we didn’t get pressure on them, we gave needless passes away that led to counter-attacks which gives you the feeling you’re stretched… it was unusually disjointed. We need to make sure we put it right for next month,” Southgate concluded.

Sportslumo Desk

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