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Gareth Southgate: 'I could have not have asked for more from England at World Cup'

Southgate hails conduct of England players
© Reuters
Gareth Southgate praises his England players for their conduct at the 2018 World Cup and stresses that they "deserve every bit of praise" for their fourth-place finish.

Gareth Southgate has praised his England players for their conduct at the 2018 World Cup and stressed that they "deserve every bit of praise" for their fourth-place finish at the tournament.

The Three Lions surpassed expectations in Russia by going all the way to the semi-finals of the competition, where they led for much of their encounter against Croatia before eventually losing 2-1 after extra time.

England then had the opportunity to secure a third-place finish - which would have been their second-best World Cup result after the triumph of 1966 - but they came up short as Belgium ran out 2-0 winners in St Petersburg.

"We have been competitive, over achieved our landmark and to finish in the top four is probably above where we are currently," Southgate told ITV Sport. "But the players deserve every bit of praise they will get when they come back.

"We have tried to maximize the players we have and their individual profiles. It's not club football, you can't go and buy players but for me the players who have been here have conducted themselves exquisitely. I can't have asked for any more from them."

England's next fixture is on September 8 in the UEFA Nations League against Spain.

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Gareth Southgate during an England training session on May 28, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City86202131820
2Chelsea86201851320
3Liverpool86201531220
4Arsenal86021910918
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs8602157818
6Bournemouth85121612416
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves843196315
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd84131314-113
9Watford84131112-113
10Leicester CityLeicester84041412212
11Everton83321312112
12Burnley82241012-28
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton8224913-48
14Crystal Palace821559-47
15West Ham UnitedWest Ham8215813-57
16Southampton8125614-85
17Fulham8125921-125
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield8035417-133
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle8026613-72
20Cardiff CityCardiff8026417-132

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