Southgate takes 'so many positives' from game with Brazil

Tuesday 27 May 2014
Gareth Southgate watches on as England U20 take on Brazil
Gareth Southgate says he’s happy to take the positives out of Monday’s defeat against Brazil, as his England U20 side quickly turn their attention to the next game on Wednesday against Korea Republic.

The Three Lions found themselves two goals down in the Toulon Tournament clash in St. Raphael through strikes which the head coach described  Bas "unavoidable".

England 1-2 Brazil

The Toulon Tournament
6.30pm, Monday 26 May 2014
Stade Louis Hon, St. Raphael
Live on BT Sport


But a stunning free-kick from James Ward-Prowse reduced the arrears and gave England hope of rescuing a draw and a potential place in Sunday’s Final.

They couldn’t find a breakthrough though and it left Southgate tasting defeat as an England coach for the first time since taking over as Under-21s head coach last September.

"I don’t think there were any surprises and we got the game that we thought we would," he said after the game.

"We wanted to be brave enough to pass the ball and we did.

"In terms of possession and the way that we tried to play, we probably played more than the opposition which you wouldn’t have expected coming into a game like this.

"We dealt with the more difficult things that Brazil had to throw at us but in actual fact, we let ourselves down with two really disappointing goals and it was us who came up with a moment of brilliance that you might have expected from the opposition.

"So we’re disappointed, but I think the players will come away realising that they’re more than capable of performing on this stage."

Nat Chalobah Doria

England came up against physical Brazil side in St. Raphael


Southgate had warned his side in the build-up to the game that they were likely to face a Brazil team who would be physically strong and direct, which is exactly what they found.

But it was something which he felt the squad needed, after comfortably topping their Euro qualifying group throughout the season.

"We knew it would be a real challenge today," he admitted. 

"We knew we’d have to be at our best and get everything right and we did so many good things so there are positives to take from it

"But we can’t ignore the fact that there are a couple of things we didn’t get right.

"We needed to see if we could handle the ball under pressure, which we did, but at times we lost possession because if you try to play that way it’s going to happen.

"But I’ve got so many good things to take from it and there were some outstanding individual performances, with players coming away from it realising that they can live in this sort of company.

"We believed that before the game, but sometimes as a player you have to see the evidence through your own eyes.

"The disappointment will be that they’ll come away from here thinking that there was nothing to choose between the teams and it’s unfortunate that mistakes have cost us."

Watch the full interview with Southgate in the media player above.

By Nicholas Veevers Content Manager - FA Owned Channels at Stade Louis Hon, St. Raphael, France