Gareth Southgate left impressed by aspects of his young charges' victory over Wales

Thursday 08 Oct 2020
Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate during his team's game with Wales
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Gareth Southgate paid tribute to his young team after their 3-0 victory over Wales at Wembley.

With three games to play in less than a week this month, the England boss named a youthful line-up to face Ryan Giggs’ side in their warm-up game for the UEFA Nations League featuring two debutants in Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Bukayo Saka.

And he was treated to a debut goal from the in-form Everton striker Calvert-Lewin and further goals from Conor Coady and Danny Ings in what were their first starts for the senior team.

"I thought the players did very well because it's very difficult for almost a new team to come together with not a lot of experience around it and I thought they coped with that very well,” said Southgate.

"It wasn't fluid at the start but the longer the game went on, the more and more they got into it and around the tactical problem that Wales caused us when they were pressing and we finished very strongly.”

Dominic Calvert-Lewin caught the eye with a goal on his debut for the Three Lions

It was Calvert-Lewin’s first-half header which set England on their way, with the Everton striker continuing his good form in the Premier League on the international stage following his first senior call-up.

And Southgate was left impressed by the Yorkshireman’s performance throughout, as he led the line from the front with impressive support from Ings and Jack Grealish, another player given his first start.

"I thought he [Calvert-Lewin] was very good,” he added.

“He had excellent presence, his runs were a threat and he presses well, he took his goal well so he can be really pleased.

"He's in a good vein of form and is an all-round centre forward.

"I've always liked his general play, but he's added goals now which takes him to another level.”

The Three Lions will now turn their attention to Sunday’s game against Belgium at Wembley, as they resume their Nations League campaign.

By Nicholas Veevers