Southgate shows respect for 'proud' Wales ahead of World Cup clash

  • World
  • Tuesday, 29 Nov 2022

DOHA, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- England coach Gareth Southgate insisted on Monday that there would be no change to his side's attitude when they face Wales on Tuesday in Group B.

A draw will be enough for England to assure their place in the last 16 of the World Cup as group winners (unless the United States beat Iran by more than four goals), but Southgate said his side would not go for a draw against a rival they have beaten in their last six meetings.

"We want to win football matches," he said, although he indicated that didn't rule out changes to his starting 11.

"We've got to balance freshness with stability. That's always the decision you're making when you pick the team. We've got a chance to win the group with a positive result," added the England coach.

England played fast, open football to beat Iran 6-2 in their opener, but had to dig deep for a 0-0 draw against a fast and energetic U.S. side.

"We've played well with the ball in the first game and scored a lot of goals. The second game was tougher. We now want to put both elements together," commented Southgate.

The coach said defender Ben White would miss out with an illness, and told the press that although there are rumors he could rest captain Harry Kane, "Kane always wants to play."

He also discussed the Wales side, who will be looking to restore pride by beating a local rival after they lost to Iran in their second Group B match.

"They're a proud team with some very good players. We would have always expected them to play well. We're preparing for them in the same way we've prepared for the previous opponents."

"They have some world class players who can produce moments of brilliance and have done for a long time with their clubs and their country. They have a good spirit and organization," he added, singling out Gareth Bale for praise.

"He's capable of those individual moments of brilliance. He's having a fantastic career and had some fantastic experiences," commented Southgate of the 33-year-old winger.

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