Southgate hails U21s' game changer Duncan Watmore

Monday 16 Nov 2015
England Under-21s boss Gareth Southgate

Gareth Southgate praised the impact of Duncan Watmore after the super-sub inspired England Under-21s to victory over Switzerland in Brighton.

The Three Lions were trailing by a solitary goal as the game went into the final 10 minutes, before the Sunderland forward won a penalty for James Ward-Prowse’s equaliser, scored the second and then laid a third goal on a plate for fellow sub Chuba Akpom.

And after seeing his side dominate possession without troubling the visitors before Watmore’s intervention, Southgate was pleased to see his side get what they deserved. 

England 3-1 Switzerland

UEFA European U21 Championship
Qualifying Group 9
Monday 16 November 2015
Amex Stadium, Brighton
Live on BT Sport

“I didn’t think for one minute that it was a game we deserved to be behind in, because there was only really one shot on target,” he said.

“We’d played extremely well up until the final third and hadn’t managed to find that cutting edge.

“So great credit to the boys that came off the bench, they put the disappointment of not starting the game to one side and it was a super contribution which really turned the game for us.

“We knew that we were ending up a little bit narrow and [Watmore's] width would give us a different option and his pace at that stage of the game, because we’d kept the ball so well and knew the opposition would tire.

“It’s important to stick to our beliefs and the way that we want to play, but also sometimes you have to go a little bit more direct and mix the game up.

“We got two strikers on the field and started to pose the opposition some different questions.

“So I’m delighted for him, he’s a great kid to work with and it’s great that he’s got his reward tonight.”

The result sees England go three points clear on top of their Euro qualifying group going into the new year.

But with the return trip to Switzerland coming up in March, Southgate knows his team need to remain focused in 2016.

“I think we’re deservedly top, but there’s a long way to go now,” he explained.

“We play Switzerland again in March and they’re a good side, a well organised side and we had to show tremendous qualities tonight to beat them.

“There’s a long way to go in this group, but it’s good to be in control of it.”

By Nicholas Veevers Content Manager - FA Owned Channels at Amex Stadium, Brighton