England back to winning way over Switzerland
Leicester, Sept 12: England manager Gareth Southgate recognised his side have vast room for improvement despite bouncing back from three consecutive defeats as a much-changed team edged past Switzerland for a 1-0 friendly win thanks to Marcus Rashford's winner.
However, the Three Lions again failed to hit the heights from their World Cup campaign, particularly in a poor first 45 minutes that provoked strong words between the players at half-time.
Southgate, though, did at least stave off an unwanted record of becoming the first England boss to oversee four straight defeats and further puncture the feel-good factor of a run to the World Cup semi-finals.
"It's not been a perfect week by any means but we finish with a win, which is important moving forward," said Southgate.
"We had a tactical problem to sort out and so many lads playing their first 45 minutes of the season," he added of the first-half display.
"It was a tall order to ask them to play against an excellent Switzerland side, they kept the ball well and we had to chase too much. There was plenty of room for improvement." The two teams could have met in the quarter-finals in Russia had the Swiss not limped out of the competition with a whimper to Sweden in the last 16.
England proved far too strong for the Swedes before falling short against Croatia in the last four, but it is Switzerland who have so far bounced back from their World Cup disappointment the stronger.
Vladimir Petkovic's side thrashed Iceland 6-0 to kickstart their Nations League campaign and were the better side for the first 45 minutes at the King Power.
"We could have been two or three nil down at half-time," said England full-back Danny Rose. "It's great we can all shout at each other and tell each other to improve like we did." Southgate insisted after being outplayed for the majority of a 2-1 defeat by Spain in his side's inaugural Nations League encounter on Saturday that England must persist with his intention to improve on playing out from the back under pressure. -AFP