Harry Kane leads by example as England keep calm

Hope Soto
June 3, 2018

The 47-year-old said his team on Saturday was close to England's likely starting XI when they open their World Cup campaign against Group G opponents Tunisia in Volgograd on June 18.

"We also won the ball back really quickly, and I thought we played from the back with good composure". The most positive thing from the game was our second half performance, especially the players who came into the midfield.

"In the second half we were slow to start and it took us a little while to adjust to them changing shape".

'But after that we dealt with it well.

Gareth Southgate has backed Raheem Sterling to come through the controversy surrounding the player's gun tattoo and stay focused on final preparations for the World Cup.

Southgate, who admitted he briefly considered dropping Sterling after that late arrival to join up with England, will have relished some aspects and the signs of promise in that link with Kane but will demand much greater end product.

But that was overshadowed when he was booked for an embarrassing dive in a failed attempt to win a second-half penalty. We didn't always find them or see them, but there was a lot of unselfish one and two touch play that really pleased me.

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"The front four, some of the movement and interplay, we looked a threat with plenty of pace".

It was that kind of evening for Southgate, with pluses and negatives in equal measure.

And despite his penchant for simulation, Alli was in fact being jeered by Nigerian fans for turning down the chance to represent the Super Eagles. Ben STANSALL / AFP Nigeria's defender Kenneth Omeruo vies with England's striker Harry Kane during the worldwide friendly football match between England and Nigeria at Wembley stadium in London on June 2, 2018.

Following an inconsistent season with Tottenham and some diffident displays for England, Alli needed to cement his place in Southgate's team and, ignoring the hail of boos, he was making a convincing case. We were excellent in the first half and created a lot of chances.

15' OFFSIDE! Nigeria'sJohn Obi Mikel tries a through ball, but Odion Ighalo is caught offside.

Meanwhile, former England defender Rio Ferdinand has insisted the criticism flowing in Sterling's direction should not be linked to the colour of his skin, as he insists the national team often has a scapegoat that attracts criticism.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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