Gareth Southgate has spoken of his delight at England securing a third-placed finish in the UEFA Nations League after they needed penalties to get past Switzerland following a 0-0 draw.
The Three Lions were dominant throughout, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Harry Maguire impressing in defence. However, going forward, England left a lot to be desired, and needed penalties to get the win.
Speaking to ITV after the game, Southgate confessed that he was incredibly relieved to see England rewarded for their dominance eventually.
He said: "I don't think we've ever had to work so hard for a win! I'm most pleased with the performance, really, because we deserved to win. We owed the supporters a performance, and we owed ourselves a performance, and I think we delivered that, and i'm delighted.
"So many thousands of fans stayed here for a third-place playoff and they gave us incredible backing, so i'm really pleased for them."
Southgate then discussed goalkeeper Pickford, who netted his side's fifth penalty, before saving Josip Drmic's effort to seal the victory, and Southgate admitted that Pickford has worked on taking penalties in training.
"We've worked at it, I think we've got the reward for the work that we did on it. We said to the players that it might be necessary, and it was.
"[Pickford]'s got good technique. He's got the added advantage of that he can go and make a difference with his gloves on as well. That's pleasing because it's another good experience for us in a tournament."
A great way to bring an incredible season to an end. Time for a break. 🙌🏽 🏴 pic.twitter.com/KRYUQRQRzX— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) June 9, 2019
He said: "His quality with the ball, the delivery with his crosses, the delivery of his wide free-kicks, the ability to pick out a pass or a long through pass. He's still early stages, there's still some work to do with him defensively, but he's maturing really well."
Source : 90min