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World Cup Group D

Response pleases Southgate

Gareth Southgate was pleased with the way his England U21 side stuck to their task during their 1-1 draw in a European Championship qualifier in Finland.

Last Updated: 09/09/13 at 23:02 Post Comment

Gareth Southgate thought his side did well in Finland

Gareth Southgate thought his side did well in Finland

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A mistake by goalkeeper Jack Butland allowed Moshtagh Yaghoubi to give Finland a 15th minute lead from a long-range free-kick.

But the visitors recovered well, equalised in the 67th minute through Saido Berahino, and continued to impress Southgate even after skipper Andre Wisdom was red carded with 16 minutes left.

Southgate said: "We said at the beginning of the week that we won't go into every game and not make mistakes or not go behind, so it's how we respond to those things that matters.

"We've got to keep doing the right things and we kept passing and probing. We kept doing that when we went down to 10 men as well, which was really pleasing.

"I thought (midfielders) James Ward-Prowse and Tom Carroll were terrific. Even when we were down to 10 men, they kept probing and opening them up, and also did a disciplined job defensively when we needed that cover."

Southgate was also happy with the displays of forwards Berahino and Harry Kane.

West Brom striker Berahino has scored in both of his U21 appearances so far and Tottenham's Kane did well after coming on in the second half.

Regarding the change, Southgate said: "You think about doing it at half-time, but then you think to give it five or 10 minutes.

"But we felt we needed to give them something else to think about defensively.

"Saido had been a goal threat and we know that Harry's a goalscorer, so maybe that change of shape gives the opposition something to think about.

"It paid off for us, as we had that spell when Harry nearly gets the header and we hit the post when we were down to 10 men."

England have four points and sit third in Group 1, having played half as many games as leaders Finland, who are on eight points.

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think all those names linked to United exits make sense. Kagawa has never really looked like hitting the form he had at Dortmund and Fellaini is radioactive after last season (even though I think he's been unfairly singled out for criticism). Nani and Anderson have had more than their fair share of chances so they are done, and Hernandez deserves better than warming a bench.

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e'll be off to Spurs (or better) in January and I don't blame him. Looking forward to re-signing Grant Holt as his replacement though.

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n fairness, he does look absolutely shattered in that photo.....

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