England promise there’s ‘more to come’ after taking top spot

Staying ahead: England’s Kalvin Phillips (left) and Czech Republic’s Alex Kral competing to head the ball in their Group D match at Wembley. — AP

LONDON: England manager Gareth Southgate said his team would get better after they beat Czech Republic 1-0 at Wembley on Tuesday to secure top spot in Euro 2020 Group D.

“I think there is more to come from us definitely, we haven’t scored from a set-play yet, we are not fluent but we have moments when we look a good side, ” Southgate told reporters.

England will face the second-placed team in Group F - most likely Portugal, Germany or France - but Southgate said he was glad to have secured home advantage with next Tuesday’s match being held at Wembley.

“Who knows if that is going to be a good draw or not? We wanted to win the group, wanted to play at Wembley and we will see who we play tomorrow, ” he said.

Defender Harry Maguire, who returned to the side after injury, agreed that England had more to offer.

“We’ve set out to win the group and we’ve done that. Can we play better? Of course we can. Will we improve? We’ll do everything we can. Three clean sheets, been solid. The fundamentals are there and now we’ve got to tidy up in every part of our game, ” he said.

“In tournament football, it’s about big moments in big games and not giving the opponents big moments to score from and at the moment, we are doing that well, ” he added.

Goalscorer Raheem Sterling was more upbeat about the team’s performance against the Czechs.

“There are positives from the game. We kept the ball better today. It gave us more attacking options. We got in the gaps really well, played some good football and got the goal we needed, ” he said.

“If you don’t concede goals you win football matches. You just need to score at the other end. People were disappointed in the Scotland game a few days ago but we didn’t concede. The most important thing was to win the group, ” he said.

Sterling was unfazed about the prospect of facing a round of 16 tie against tough opponents.

“At some point you have to face the best teams. It is about challenging yourselves, ” he said. — Reuters

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