Formation switch suits Southgate

England head coach Gareth Southgate was pleased to see a change of defensive formation work well for his side as they drew 0-0 with Croatia in Rijeka.

The repeat of the World Cup 2018 semi-final may have ended goalless, but Southgate felt that there were plenty of positives taken from a Nations League game in which he opted for a four-man defence rather than the three-man set-up he utilised in Russia.

Having seen both Eric Dier and Harry Kane denied by the woodwork, Southgate told reporters: "We wanted to keep continuity in September, but we felt this system was the best way to go.

"The players did well. It meant we were able to get tighter to their midfield and we were able to get higher up the pitch.

"I don't think we should ever be rigid and only have one way of playing. In the summer we had a system which allowed our players to embed into international football, but now they are more experienced."

Meanwhile, Southgate was also upbeat about the attacking play of his side, despite them being unable to make an all-important breakthrough.

He added: "I thought we dictated the flow of the game for a long period and the second-half performance was excellent.

"We were pushing and pushing right to the end, so I couldn't ask more of the players. I am pleased with the chances we created and we just have to make sure we finish them.

"It feels like a game we should have won and I think the performance deserved that."

England are now priced at 14/1 to triumph at the World Cup in 2022, with holders France available at 7/1 and Germany 7/1.

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