Gareth Southgate leads England through to 2018 World Cup

FRANCK FIFE  GettyImages

They don't have Champions League winning medals between them.

"We played a team who have only conceded four goals and you saw why, they defended resolutely, they broke the game up when they had to, they took yellow cards when they had to and we weren't quite as sharp as we would have hoped to be with the ball".

Southgate knows there is plenty of work to do to prevent next year's World Cup going the same way as recent major tournament displays, with the manager under no illusions of the task ahead of him.

Immediately after the game, the Football Association announced England will play friendlies against Brazil and world champions Germany at Wembley in November.

"I think he is brilliant", the Baggies midfielder told Shoot.

The 47-year-old said: "Tonight highlighted where we are".

Generations of England fans have grown tired of the national team's boring mediocrity and, even during a game in which qualification to next summer's World Cup finals in Russian Federation could be guaranteed, the general public were largely uninterested.

"We're a squad. We stay together as a squad".

"But there will be England supporters going to Lithuania and we have a duty to put in a performance".

"It's the nature of playing for England and managing England", said Southgate, who stepped into the breach after Sam Allardyce was brought down by a newspaper sting following just one game at the helm.

Kane went three games without a goal in August but, since netting his first two strikes of the season in the 4-0 qualifier against Malta at the start of September, has not looked back.

"But we have had, in my period in charge, six wins, two draws, with one of the best defensive records in Europe in qualifying".

"We're a country that has high expectations".

"I've seen Bobby Robson get to a World Cup semi-final and was hammered up probably until the quarter-final stage".

"But I was given the job to keep things steady a year ago".

"It's not a relief, I always thought we'd achieve the objective [of qualifying]".

The defeat means Slovenia can not reach the World Cup, but they will have a major say in whether Scotland do.

Rashford does not get weighed down by the fear-factor that appears to stifle team-mates Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sterling and will only get better.

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