Gareth Southgate gives worrying reason why England players aren’t working hard enough at Euro 2024

Southgate needs to rediscover England’s spark (Picture: Getty)

Gareth Southgate has suggested his England side are not fit enough to press the opposition effectively following their uninspiring start to Euro 2024.

The Three Lions picked up a 1-0 win over Serbia in their Group C opener last Sunday, taking the lead through Jude Bellingham before wilting in the second-half.

Harry Kane gave them an early lead against Denmark on Thursday but what followed was an alarmingly passive performance marred by careless passing, an absence of intensity and a plan to press the opposition that simply didn’t work.

Morten Hjulmand’s stunning goal secured a deserved equaliser for the Danes with England missing the chance to qualify for the knockout stages as group winners. They can still achieve that with a win over Slovenia on Tuesday but Southgate has warned his players did not currently have the physical levels to execute his gameplan.

‘We are not pressing well enough, with enough intensity,’ Southgate said. ‘We have limitations in how we can do that with the physical condition.

‘We can’t press as high up the pitch as we might have done in the ­qualifiers, for example. And we are not keeping the ball well enough. We have to keep the ball better and build with more control.’

Despite his goal, Kane struggled against the Danes with Southgate opting to take his captain off after 70 minutes, along with Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden.

Kane among those who struggled against Denmark (Picture: Getty)

‘I am seeing every day that they are loving working together, Southgate added.

‘I don’t think it is a lack of spark. At the moment, they ironically care too much and they need firm leadership.

‘We have to guide them through the difficult period that is coming but really stay on track and focused on this challenge ahead.

‘We are trying to do something that has never been done before [win the Euros]. So that is going to be a bit of a rollercoaster.

‘It’s not going to go smoothly when you are trying to achieve extraordinary things. They are bloody difficult. We have to accept the level of expectations, we have to accept the arena we are in. And we have to find a better way of playing to how we have so far.”

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *