Gareth Southgate warns his Under-21s about the importance of discipline in Euro games
Gareth Southgate has warned his players to use caution in their play during the Euro qualifiers this season.
The England Under-21 Head Coach saw his captain Andre Wisdom hit with a four-game suspension from UEFA following his red card against Finland last month.
It means the Three Lions will be without the Liverpool defender until 2014, with four more qualifiers remaining this year.
And Southgate says the example of Wisdom and his lengthy ban has already been put forward to his players as they prepare for this week’s trip to San Marino and then a game with Lithuania at Portman Road.
“We spoke immediately after the game with the lads about the lessons we can learn from that sending off,” said Southgate.
“With matches in Europe, I knew that Andre would be sent off, because experience tells you that.
“The rules aren’t really any different, but they’re administered much more strictly in European football.
“Unfortunately for Andre, it seems a harsh punishment but he’s still a part of our group and we’ll support him.
“But it now gives other people an opportunity to show us what they can do.”
Southgate’s squad meet up at St. George’s Park on Sunday evening to begin their preparations for Thursday’s game with San Marino.
And looking back to their first two qualifiers against Moldova and Finland last month, Southgate says he remains pleased with aspects of both games.
“We were really pleased with the first game in particular in terms of the style we played and the chances we created against a packed defence,” he added.
“I think that’s what we’ll be faced with every game, so why we’ve got an attack-minded squad for these games.
“And what pleased me about Finland was that we recovered from setbacks well, the goal that we conceded and the sending off, because they are all things that could have de-railed us.
“But we still dominated the ball with ten men and created three really good chances towards the end of the game.
“So it wasn’t the result that we wanted but at the end of the game, in the circumstances, it was a decent result.”