Mourinho hails Southgate’s pragmatic England

Joshua Hall
Jose Mourinho England
Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has hailed England’s ability to play both pragmatically and with creativity and said it’s exactly what they will need in the knockout stages.

England finished top of their group on Tuesday night after a 1-0 victory against the Czech Republic was sealed by a Raheem Sterling header.

Mourinho spoke glowingly about the way that England managed to control the game and impose themselves on the opposition whilst exhibiting good creativity.

16 Conclusions: Czech Republic 0-1 England

The former Spurs boss spoke to talkSPORT about the performance and believes that the England camp will be happy with what they produced at Wembley.

He said: “They showed two different versions. Great mobility in attack and great creativity. Second half they were a team of position, positional play and control – you need that in the knockout stage.

“Probably people are not over the moon because people are always asking for more and a different kind of football, but probably inside the camp – they will be happy. They will feel they did the job well and they’re prepared for the next one.”

England will face the second placed team in group F in their last 16 game on Tuesday 29th June at Wembley Stadium.

The Three Lions will be host to any one of France, Portugal, Germany or Hungary.

Mourinho also praised England’s ability to adapt to “different moments” in their games and believes Gareth Southgate’s side is ready to cope with “modern football”.

He said: “It’s important that the team knows what to do in different moments. Gareth Southgate would prefer the beginning of the second half the same as the first, get a second goal, go to a bigger scoreline, but the game went in a different direction.

“They managed the game the way they wanted to with pragmatism. They took [Jack] Grealish out, they brought [Jude] Bellingham to play with [Jordan] Henderson and [Kalvin] Phillips, wingers were defending, the team was compact.

“England is able to cope with what the game gives to England. The good thing for me is that England looks like they are in good condition, they have the tactical knowledge and they can cope with different things.

“The tactical level of the team is high and I think they are ready to cope with what modern football is.”