Football Association chief Martin Glenn was cautious about England’s chances at next year’s World Cup on Friday after the team qualified for Russian Federation 2018 with a lacklustre performance against Slovenia.
Prior to the Tottenham Hotspur striker’s intervention, England had laboured to little avail against Srecko Katanec’s charges, who had conceded just four goals in their previous eight qualifiers.
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“They are giving absolutely everything they have got”.
But Southgate said he took solace from the example of the late Bobby Robson, who went from national pariah to national treasure by leading England to the semi-finals at the 1990 World Cup in Italy.
“They’re suffering the consequences of 25 years, 30 years, 40 years (of underachievement)”. I thought we did that well.
England host Slovenia at Wembley knowing that a win will ensure automatic qualification to next summer’s World Cup, but the Three Lions could also earn a ticket to Russian Federation if they draw against Slovenia and away against Lithuania on Sunday (8 October).
Taking into account that only 1 team received a ticket to the final part of the World Cup in the group F, the chances of the Slovenian team to be the lucky one are practically zero. “We’d already had that conversation”, Southgate said. Different situations, different opportunities to be in front of people, sharing a responsibility of team.
Skipper Harry Kane scored a last-gasp clincher – his 11th goal in 22 worldwide appearances – to salvage a degree of credibility for a lacklustre England, who secured top spot in Group F as a effect.
Hart’s form has come under scrutiny during this qualifying campaign but Southgate has opted to keep faith with the West Ham stopper, rather than promote Jack Butland, Fraser Forster or Jordan Pickford. “But we have got goalscorers”.
“Whoever wears the armband, there’s plenty of us who will speak up and try and help each other. and when things get tough we will be there for each other”, he said.