Kuala Lumpur Post

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Southgate pleased with England experiment despite Brazil loss

LONDON — A 1-0 loss to Brazil on Saturday did not dampen England coach Gareth Southgate’s spirits as he assessed a few newcomers to his team with an eye on who will make his Euro 2024 squad.

An injury-hit Brazil side won the game thanks to their 17-year-old striker Endrick, who scored in the 80th-minute after coming on as a substitute.

It was an even game, the England manager suggested in a press conference, as he made changes to his side with the upcoming European Championship in Germany in mind.

“I’m not down on the performance of the team,” the 53-year-old said. “The difference in the end was one moment, really… a couple of mistakes decided the game.”

England were missing some key players at Wembley, including injured captain Harry Kane who will also sit out their next friendly against Belgium on Tuesday.

Generally pleased with the performance of his players, Southgate praised the debuts of Manchester United’s Kobbie Mainoo and Newcastle United’s Anthony Gordon.

Although Ollie Watkins did not have a clear cut chance on goal, Southgate said he was happy with the Aston Villa striker’s contribution.

“We needed to know where we might head if we didn’t have Harry (Kane) for a big match,” he said.

“It was a good experiment,” Southgate added.

Bayern Munich striker Kane travelled to England last weekend to join up with the national team to be treated for an ankle injury he had suffered in a 5-2 Bundesliga win at Darmstadt. — Reuters