Gareth Southgate believes there are things to build on following disappointing Slovenia draw

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Gareth Southgate believes there are “things to build on” for England following the disappointing goalless draw with Slovenia on Tuesday night. 

England headed into the game knowing they had already qualified for the knockout stages, and despite another largely uninspiring performance they secured top spot in Group C.

Southgate made one change with Conor Gallagher coming in, but that didn’t appear to work as he was replaced at the break by youngster Kobbie Mainoo.

Things to build on for England?

Following the poor showing against Denmark last week this was an opportunity for the Three Lions to silence their critics, but it was one they didn’t take as they struggled to break Slovenia down.

Many had been expecting an improved performance, but it didn’t arrive with England once again struggling for large parts of the game and simply not moving the ball quickly enough.

The one positive on the night was the impact Kobbie Mainoo and Cole Palmer made from the bench, with England looking much more of a threat with Palmer on the pitch.

Southgate believes there is plenty to build on for his side, but admitted the team aren’t quite getting a break in front of goal.

England players look disappointed following Slovenia draw.
Southgate believes there are things to build on after draw with Slovenia.

“I thought we were much improved with the ball,” he told ITV Sport.

“We have created some good openings and at the moment it is hard work for us.

“We are not quite getting that break in front of goal. I think the players who came on did well. I understand the reactions but it is a tough environment

“We tried to win the game by the changes we made. We put attacking players on the pitch.”

Southgate praised the impact of Palmer, who was making his first appearance at a major tournament.

“He did very good,” he added.

“He finds space well and he makes chances and we were backing him to score at the end.

“They are young players and we are blooding them in a difficult environment. They had a good impact for us and did good things for us.

“Anthony Gordon, Cole Palmer, Kobbie Mainoo, it was a really good move. We have to build on that. There were a lot of things to build on from tonight.”

England are back in action in the last 16 on Sunday, and they will find out their opponent on Wednesday evening.

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