Gareth Southgate admits England lacked final third sharpness in goalless draw with Italy

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Instead of avenging last summer's heartbreaking loss at Wembley, England had to settle for a single point as they remain winless in their UEFA Nations League group.

Manager Gareth Southgate was satisfied by the performance, but admitted his side lacked sharpness in the final third.

He told Channel 4: "There were things that we did really well in Germany and things that we needed to improve upon. We improved on a lot of those things today. Getting the ball through their midfield press and into their next line, we were much better.

"We've had two or three really good chances that we need to score. We just lack that little bit of sharpness in the final third. "But the general performance I was pleased with. I thought there were a lot of positive individual performances. Players we needed to see who've gone in and done well. "You can't ignore the fact that when you're really pushing - and I thought in the second half we were much the better team - you don't have any crowd to help you or to put the opposition under pressure. And it makes a massive difference to the team."

One of the major criticisms of Southgate in recent games has been his cautious approach. While the 51-year-old has led the Three Lions to a number of successes during his tenure, some have been left underwhelmed by England's ponderous displays.

When asked whether he was over-cautious, the manager hit back, saying: "I don't see how you can [say that] really, because we're trying to move the ball through against a really good, well organised team.

"We've got the ball into our forward players. We've given all of them a go and try to refresh it because we know the state of the season we're at.

"I think at the moment, that little bit of sharpness in the final third isn't quite there. But I was pleased with the general performance."

Next up for the Three Lions is a home clash with Hungary on Tuesday, June 14.

The article Gareth Southgate admits England lacked final third sharpness in goalless draw with Italy appeared first on Planetsport.com.

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