MX23RW : Sunday, July 21 15:25:23| >> :600:3801819:3801819:
Jun 6, 2019 at 7.45pm UK at ​Estadio Dom Afonso Henriques, Guimaraes
Attendance: 25,711
Netherlands
3-1
England
de Ligt (73'), Walker (97' og.), Promes (114')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Rashford (32' pen.)

Gareth Southgate: 'I will stand by error-prone England'

Gareth Southgate: 'I will stand by error-prone England'
© Reuters
The manager said his team would have 'learned so much' from their loss to Holland.

Gareth Southgate is focusing on progress rather than the pain of another semi-final loss as the England manager looks to build towards Euro 2020 glory.

A year after Croatia's extra-time comeback win at the World Cup, the Three Lions fell just short once more in the final four.

Holland responded well to Marcus Rashford's first-half penalty and ran out 3-1 victors in extra-time as calamitous mistakes from John Stones and Ross Barkley allowed the Dutch to reach the inaugural Nations League final.

John Stones endured a difficult night in Guimaraes
John Stones endured a difficult night in Guimaraes (Mike Egerton/PA)

It was another case of so close yet so far for England, but Southgate refused to let this latest semi-final disappointment cloud their fine work.

Put to the England manager that the key thing was to use the experience of Moscow and Guimaraes when looking ahead to Euro 2020, he told BBC Radio 5 live: "Yeah, the players are hugely motivated.

"They're incredibly disappointed as I know the fans will be, but the levels of performance getting to two semi-finals is beyond where they've been before.

"And I know everybody will speak about our history, but for these players they've had an 18 months that is beyond so many teams over the last couple of decades.

"I am proud to be their manager. I am proud to support them and I've got to stand by them in this month."

Southgate vowed to support Stones after his error, but it would not be a surprise to the see the defender on the bench on Sunday for the third-place play-off against Switzerland.

The England manager is surely going to make sweeping changes when they return to action in Guimaraes, where the squad was training or doing recovery work on Friday morning.

"I think we were talking before the match as a group of staff about the incredible games England have been involved in, in tournaments, and the twists and turns, so much happens in those big games that it's hard to take it all in," Southgate told the post-match press conference.

England beat Switzerland 1-0 in a friendly last September
England beat Switzerland 1-0 in a friendly last September (Nick Potts/PA)

"I thought it was a really high level of opponent, who posed us problems in possession without creating too many clear-cut chances early in the game.

"We managed to solve a lot of the problems they posed. They pressed us well.

"Throughout the game, we made too many mistakes in our third of the pitch and partly that was a consequence of their good pressure but partly that was just errors by us.

"So, incredibly proud that the players have given absolutely everything. It's very painful for them, it's very painful for everybody, but it's a night where we would have learned so much, some individuals really stood out.

"People like Declan Rice haven't been in that sort of environment before, Ross Barkley I thought was really outstanding, Raheem (Sterling too)."

Southgate faces the unenviable challenge of rousing the troops for Sunday's match before the squad jet back home and away on their summer breaks.

But this missed opportunity to win a first senior trophy in 53 years is likely to play on their minds, so too perhaps the fact a midfield dynamo again played a key role in their downfall.

Frenkie de Jong shone for Holland on Thursday night
Frenkie de Jong shone for Holland on Thursday night (Tim Goode/PA)

Last year Luka Modric ran the show as Croatia won their World Cup semi-final and on Thursday the man-of-the match was Frenkie De Jong as he pulled the strings for the Dutch.

"I think the key is that we have over the last two years tried to get the very best performances from the players we have," Southgate said when that correlation was put to him.

"We've improved enormously as a team. We've progressed as a team.

"We could (have been) playing qualifying matches somewhere else, but we weren't, we were playing in another semi-final.

"It makes it more painful, but it was more important to be in a game like (this) ahead of next summer as well, because that's the level of the teams.

"At the moment, against some of the best teams we've not been able to get over the line in those two semi-finals, but we just have to keep working and adapting and we've done that over the course of this competition.

"Some young players have had tremendous experiences.

"So, it's been hugely worthwhile for us. But, of course, we wanted to come here and win the trophy and we haven't been able to do that."

ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'});
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin);
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Simon Peach, Press Association Chief Football Writer, Porto');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'a27d24d3-c4c6-4fe8-92a7-66849a43223b');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null);
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football');
ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Southgate \u2018proud\u2019 of England despite pain of more semi-final heartache'});

body check tags ::

Click here for more stories about Gareth Southgate

Click here for more stories about England

Share this article now:
Sports Mole Instagram banner
England attacker Marcus Rashford scores against Netherlands in the UEFA Nations League semi-final on June 6, 2019
Read Next:
England and the curse of the semi-finals
>

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Click here to log in with Facebook and add your favourite team's news and scores to this panel

6

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
/esi/758/0/index.html - esi:0:site:0:-p-: {0}: - :T758:-: {0}: < ! - - T  758 {0} - - >  : 
Tables

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account