Gareth Southgate defended his decision not to use any substitutes as England was held to a 1-1- draw in qualifying for the World Cup. The visitors paid the price for not putting the game to bed when Damian Szymanski headed home at the far post late on from a Robert Lewandowski cross. Southgate reverted back to the team that he put out against Hungary after fielding a completely different team against Andorra.
“We were very comfortable and in total control, so it would have been making substitutions for the sake of it really, and that can disrupt the rhythm we had,” England manager Gareth Southgate said. “I have absolutely no doubt that will be questioned but we didn’t see that was needed.”
“Overall, pretty pleased. The opening 15-20 minutes it was difficult to get control of the game,” he added. “We’re away from home against a proud country who have got some good players. As the half wore on, I thought we started to get a little more control without ever looking like creating a clear-cut chance. But then second half I thought we controlled the game.”
“[We scored] a fabulous goal, a fantastic strike. Again we probably didn’t create many clear-cut chances, we didn’t get as many men in the box as we’d have liked at times and there were a couple of sloppy moments at the end where we could have conceded a goal, and then we did concede a goal.” he continued. “We’re right to be disappointed only to take a point because we shouldn’t concede. But the players have been fantastic this week and we’re in a really strong position in the group.”
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