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Southgate’s frank assessment after Kosovo expose ‘obvious’ problems

Gareth Southgate has bemoaned England’s “obvious mistakes” after they beat Kosovo 5-3 at St. Mary’s.

An errant pass from Michael Keane allowed Valon Berisha to open the scoring for the visitors after just 35 seconds, but England responded with some devastating attacking football to lead 5-1 at half-time.

The Three Lions boss was keen to praise his team’s qualities going forward, but he didn’t shy from speaking about the sloppy errors at the back.

However, within the first ten minutes of the second half, they allowed Kosovo a way back into the game, as Berisha was given a shooting opportunity to score a second, shortly before Harry Maguire felled Vedat Muriqi, who stepped up to score the resultant spot-kick.

“Bizarre game really, obvious poor errors for goals,” was the England coach’s assessment, speaking to ITV after the game.

“Really pleased with the composure we showed to come back from the early mistake.

“So, some devastating attacking play throughout really. I thought our forwards were a huge threat and we used the ball generally really well”

Jadon Sancho scored his first two international goals before the break, having earlier sent in the cross that led to an own-goal from Kosovo’s Mergim Vojvoda.

Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling also scored one apiece early on, a quick turnaround after Kosovo’s early goal. They both had golden opportunities to kill the game in the second half, as Kane saw a penalty saved and Sterling struck the post.

“The mistakes were obvious,” Southgate added. “We’ve got to be better. The players don’t need me to tell them that, we have mentioned it.

“The outstanding parts of our play were obvious, the errors were obvious really.”

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