England boss Gareth Southgate assesses the positives on an emotional night at Wembley

Thursday 15 Nov 2018
Gareth Southgate saw plenty of positives from his side's performance in the Wayne Rooney Foundation International

England boss Gareth Southgate picked out the positives after Thursday night’s 3-0 victory over USA at Wembley.

Goals from Jesse Lingard, Trent Alexander-Arnold and debutant Callum Wilson proved enough to secure a comfortable win for the Three Lions.

And on the night where Wembley paid tribute to England’s record goalscorer Wayne Rooney, with a 120th and final cap for the striker, Southgate was pleased with aspects of his team’s performance.

England 3-0 USA
  • Wayne Rooney Foundation International
  • Thursday 15 November
  • Wembley connected by EE
  • Live on Sky Sports

“I thought some of the attacking play, particularly in the first half, was very exciting,” he said.

“There was some really good decision-making and inter-play around their penalty area and we probably should’ve punished them a bit more.

“We had some young players who went in and gave a really good account of themselves.

“I’m delighted for Callum Wilson, to get his goal and it was a nice moment for Trent, so there’s some real positives for us to take from it but a lot that could’ve been better.

“I didn’t like us towards the end of the game, as I thought we were too open and a bit ill-disciplined with our positional play.”

Rooney came on just shy of the hour mark, replacing his former Manchester United team-mate Jesse Lingard and received a hero’s welcome from the Wembley crowd.

The D.C. United man had already received a guard of honour from both teams before the game when he was presented with a commemorative plaque by FA chairman Greg Dyke and current England captain Harry Kane.

Rooney collects a special plaque from Greg Clarke ahead of the game

And Southgate was pleased to see the reaction and the way Rooney had been welcomed back into the squad this week during the build-up to the game, which was dedicated to the Wayne Rooney Foundation.

“I think, from our point of view, we’re talking a lot about what playing for England means for us and respecting the shirt and respecting those that have gone before,” revealed Southgate, who saw Rooney almost seal a memorable farewell with a flurry of late efforts.

“And I think all of the players did that really well this week and we’ve given Wayne a tribute that he deserves.

“The boys played him in a couple of times and that would’ve been perfect if it had gone a yard the other side of [Brad] Guzan at the end.

“That would have been a fairy tale but he’s probably had a few of those in his career already.”

England will now turn their attentions to Sunday’s UEFA Nations League showdown with Croatia at Wembley, in a game which could see either side win the group or be relegated.

Tickets for that game are sold out, but you can watch the action live on Sky Sports.

By FA Staff