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Harry Maguire: 'England players struggling due to club form'

Maguire: 'England players struggling due to club form'
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Harry Maguire suggests that England's poor performance against Czech Republic was due to several players struggling at their club sides.

Harry Maguire has suggested that England's poor performance against Czech Republic was due to several players struggling at their club sides.

Zdenek Ondrasek's 85th-minute goal condemned England to a 2-1 defeat and their first loss in a qualifier for 10 years.

The most notable aspect of the defeat was how Gareth Southgate's backline looked bereft of confidence during the closing stages.

Reflecting on why England's defence allowed itself to capitulate in Prague, Maguire told The Mirror: "Maybe it is a confidence thing because we bring our club football to the international level. It was a difficult game. We started sloppy and we took the lead in the game when we probably didn't deserve to.

"In the second half, we controlled the game a lot more but we gave them a sloppy goal to win the game. So we do need to improve on that. It's hard to lose any football game, but we were not at our best and got punished."

Maguire is part of a Manchester United team sitting two points above the relegation zone, while Everton duo Michael Keane and Jordan Pickford have endured even worse starts to the season.

Reports have suggested that Southgate plans to revert to three at the back - the system which served him so well in the 2018 World Cup - for Monday's meeting with Bulgaria.

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England manager Gareth Southgate on October 11, 2019
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