Southgate: Stick to the plan

02 September 2017 08:14:15 UK

England head coach Gareth Southgate told his side to continue to stick to their gameplan after they secured a 4-0 World Cup qualifying victory in Malta.

The Three Lions scored three times in the final five minutes to put some gloss on the scoreline against the Maltese minnows, with Southgate brushing off criticism of his team being unable to have put the game to bed earlier on in the piece.

We had to stay calm, make sure that we stuck to the plan.

Gareth Southgate

He told Sky Sports: "We've dominated the game. Of course you'd like your goals earlier and we had a couple of really good early chances, but actually that was a really good test for us.

"We had to stay calm, make sure that we stuck to the plan. And if you keep the ball as much as we did and make the opposition work as much as we did, then in the end they tire, and your goals come late.

"It's really important in these matches that you stick to the plan, that you don't panic, or start to play differently, taking on shots that you shouldn't.

"I've played on nights like this and if you don't get a couple of early goals the atmosphere can turn, but that's part of wearing the shirt. You have to deal with that."

Next up for England is a Wembley clash with Slovakia on Monday evening, with the Slovaks having cemented their second place in Group F with a 1-0 home win over Slovenia on Friday evening.

The Three Lions are 4/11 to defeat the Slovaks and are 9/2 to claim a 2-0 victory on home turf, with the hosts 4/6 to keep a clean sheet.

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