Scholes goes against the grain with shock England verdict on performance against Slovenia

Joe Williams
Paul Scholes on England
Paul Scholes speaks during his role as a TNT Sports pundit.

Former England midfielder Paul Scholes was “very encouraged” by the Three Lions’ performance in their 0-0 draw against Slovenia on Tuesday evening.

Gareth Southgate’s men were already assured of a place in the last 16 before Tuesday night’s 0-0 draw with against Slovenia secured top spot in Group C and a last-16 date in Gelsenkirchen on Sunday.

Another laboured performance came against the backdrop of sustained criticism following a 1-0 win over Serbia and a 1-1 draw with Denmark in their opening fixtures, but former England midfielder Scholes went against the grain by backing Southgate’s side.

“Might surprise a few… very encouraged by that performance,” Scholes wrote in an Instagram story post.

“At some point during that game the right players were on the pitch at the same time. Think this team is ready to click.”

But former Manchester United midfielder Scholes isn’t the only ex-England player who is backing the Three Lions with David Seaman looking forward to watching Southgate’s side in the last-16 stage of the tournament.

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When asked if he was optimistic, Seaman said: “Yes, definitely. It’s going to get better. I’m not going to say it can’t get any worse because it wasn’t that bad, but we all know that we can play a lot better than we have done.

“It’s about peaking at the right time. It’s about getting into the knockout stages and then getting better and better. Nobody remembers who you play in the qualifying stages, it’s all about who you beat in the knockouts.”

There has been a lot of criticism over Southgate’s team selection and tactics at the tournament but Seaman is still fully behind the England boss.

Seaman said: “He’s got a plan. He know what he needs to do, he knows what he wants the team to do. Okay, they’ve not been doing it as well as he would have wanted them to do, but there’s a plan there.

“We know how we can play – we’ve done it before. We’ve played in big pressure moments, not so much as getting the negative side of it, but we just need to focus a little bit more and get back to playing how we do rather than worrying about everything else.

“I’ve got nothing but praise for [Southgate] because we are now at a stage where we go into the tournament and we are now favourites or joint-favourites, and rightly so. The way that he’s got our team playing and the players that we’ve got is testament to him.”