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Declan Rice and Anthony Gordon agree on England problem as Gareth Southgate sent Euro 2024 message

Declan Rice during an England game
-Credit: (Image: Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)


Declan Rice and Anthony Gordon have identified where England must improve ahead of Euro 2024. Iceland defeated the Three Lions at Wembley Stadium on Friday night after taking the lead through Jón Dagur Þorsteinsson inside the opening quarter of an hour.

Despite enjoying large spells of possession, Gareth Southgate's side only managed one shot on target from 13 attempts. Speaking to the official England website after the game, Rice reflected on a frustrating evening in the capital.

"Inside I'm hurting, there's work to be done," said the Arsenal midfielder. "When you have that much of the ball, have a couple of clear-cut chances, and get beat 1-0 at home just before the EUROs it isn't ideal.

"But I'm going to take the positives. There were a lot of promising performances, we played with a good tempo, always tried to play forward. We have to be a little bit more savvy. It's not ideal we lost but there are good learning curves we can build on as a team."

Arsenal star Rice added: "There's no doubt our quality on the ball against teams that sit in like that, it's about being more mentally switched on. We were a bit exposed with our press and not as compact as we usually are. Every game is another chance to get better and we're going to be more than ready for Serbia."

Southgate's side will now wrap up any final preparations at St George's Park before jetting off to Germany. Gordon echoed Rice's thoughts on the Iceland clash. He said: "It didn't go the way we wanted but it's a bigger picture.

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"It's great practice for us, that's how teams are probably going to play against us so the more we play against teams like that, and learn how to break them down, the better for us going into the tournament."

The Newcastle United winger added: "We lacked quality in the final third. We did well controlling the game and pinning them back but a bit of lack of quality in the final third let us down."

Gordon was heavily linked with a move to Chelsea a few years ago before finally opting to join Newcastle. The 23-year-old has since become a mainstay in the Magpies' starting lineup and earned himself a place in the England squad.

Speaking to the official England website, he said: "I don't think it will hit me until I am actually on the plane. That's all you hear, 'Are you on the plane?' The plane is actually the exciting bit for me now. I am expecting some big mad plane! We have got a day off to enjoy some family time and then I can't wait."