Denmark v England: Southgate admits England have problems to solve after Euro 2024 draw

denmark v england: southgate admits england have problems to solve after euro 2024 draw

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - JUNE 20: Gareth Southgate, Head Coach of England, applauds the fans after the UEFA EURO 2024 group stage match between Denmark and England at Frankfurt Arena on June 20, 2024 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Photo by Stu Forster / Getty Images)

England manager Gareth Southgate admitted his side have problems to solve after drawing 1-1 with Denmark at Euro 2024 on Thursday.

For the second game running, England took the lead – this time through captain Harry Kane – only to sit back and allow the opposition back into the match once again.

Kane's 18th minute goal was cancelled out by Dane Morten Hjulmand's superb long-range strike and England were unable to respond, failing to create the kind of chances their talented forward line promises.

“Clearly, we're disappointed with the level of the two performances we've had, so we've got to go and analyse that in depth and find some solutions to addressing the issues that we have,” Southgate said.

“We know the level can be higher. Maybe the biggest thing is we have to accept the environment that we're in and the expectations that are around us. At the moment, we're falling a little bit short of that.

“Ultimately, that's my responsibility. I'm the manager, and I've got to guide this group in the best way possible to achieve extraordinary things.”

Southgate said the key to England's failings against a combative and intelligent Danish side was their failure to press hard enough and a lack of quality on the ball.

“We have to accept that we didn't press with enough intensity. We kept conceding possession too easily. When you do those things it's hard to have control, it led to an anxious performance,” he said.

“We have to be better if we are to progress to the later stages of the tournament and deliver what everyone expects us to do.”

Southgate, whose side sit top of the group and remain on course for the last 16 despite their flaws, substituted Kane in the second half.

“We felt the whole front line put a lot of work into the game. Harry has only had one 90 minutes in the last few weeks. The game last week took a lot out of him and we wanted to get more speed into the front line,” Southgate said.

This was not a display to strike fear into Europe’s elite, with Southgate’s selection and the underwhelming all-round team performance sure to be pored over in detail before facing Slovenia.

England started with the same team that beat Serbia and, yet again, took an early lead, this time through skipper Kane after Kyle Walker caught Victor Kristiansen napping.

But, as in Gelsenkirchen, they wobbled after going ahead and Hjulmand’s belting 30-yard shot, in off the foot of a post, saw their Euro 2020 semi-final opponents level.

But England’s play became nervier as the game wore on, with Southgate introducing a new-look front three of Jarrod Bowen, Eberechi Eze and Ollie Watkins in place of Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka and Kane.

It was a bold move with around 20 minutes remaining and nearly paid immediate dividends, with Watkins put in behind by Bellingham and forcing Kasper Schmeichel into a save from a tight angle.

But the changes did not spark a noticeable upturn and Denmark looked most likely to snatch a winner.

England looked happy with a point as the clock wound down – a view that their fans in Frankfurt certainly did not share.

“We take away the point and we are top of the group – I cannot stand here saying it was a fantastic performance,” said right back Kyle Walker.

“Collectively we need to know when to go or when not to go. We have to go as a full team and that is something we need to practice because you come to the knockout stages and slight things like that can cost you.

“Our build-up play can be better. And making sure the second ball is our ball.

“Each individual player is representing their country so they are going to give their blood, sweat and tears and we are doing the exact same.”

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