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Published 04 December 2022 4 min read
England Men's Senior Team

Gareth Southgate impressed with England's victory over Senegal

Written by:

Nicholas Veevers

Three Lions manager speaks after his team's knockout stage victory to set up a quarter-final with France, as well as providing an update on Raheem Sterling

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England boss Gareth Southgate was impressed with the way his side found their way to progress past Senegal and earn a spot in the World Cup quarter-final.

After a tricky start to their tie with the African champions, first-half goals from Jordan Henderson and Harry Kane settled the nerves before Bukayo Saka added a third goal to seal victory.

And with the likes of Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden and Saka all impressing, Southgate was left pleased with how his team handled the occasion.

“I think the team have made a very complicated game tonight look straightforward,” he said.

“That wasn't the case, but I think because of the mentality and the attitude we've made it look that way.

“The ruthlessness of our execution, the way the team worked off the ball and without the ball.
Gareth Southgate enjoys a great relationship with the England players
Gareth Southgate enjoys a great relationship with the England players
“I think in the end, we were a bit sticky with the ball in the first 25, 30 minutes. Senegal had a lot of energy, they pressed well and their shape was good.

“Really, our best opportunities came from winning the ball from them and I thought Jude [Bellingham] and Hendo [Jordan Henderson] in particular, were outstanding in that aspect of the game.

“They're both forward running, forward thinking midfield players. Hendo doesn't get many for us, but I think he's been outstanding.

“He's such a leader, he knits the team together around the camp. He's brilliant and his performances have been top drawer for us.”
Bukayo Saka continued his impressive form at this World Cup
Bukayo Saka continued his impressive form at this World Cup
Next up for the Three Lions will be France, who sealed their place in the last eight with a 3-1 win over Poland earlier on Sunday.

And with six days to go until the game back at the Al Bayt Stadium, Southgate and his side will now regroup at their base camp and start their preparations.

“It will be the biggest test we could face, they’re world champions, have an incredible depth of talent and outstanding individual players,” said Southgate.

“They’re very difficult to play against and score goals against, so it’s a fantastic challenge and a brilliant game for us to prepare for.

“They’re an outstanding team with a phenomenal tournament record and some outstanding individuals.

“Without a doubt, that’s a game where we’re going to have to find our highest possible level but it’s a brilliant game to be involved in and a chance to test us against the very best.”
Southgate also revealed that Raheem Sterling was missing from the squad for the game after returning home to deal with a family situation.

“At the moment, the priority is clearly for him to be with his family and we’re going to support that and leave him to have as much time as he needs,” said Southgate.

“It’s a situation that he needs time with his family to deal with and I don’t want to put him under any pressure with that.

“Sometimes football isn’t the most important thing and family should come first.”