Gareth Southgate: 'We're not going to roll through a tournament without having nights like that'
Monday’s 6-2 victory over Iran showcased England’s ruthless streak and clinical finishing.
But against the USA on Friday night, the Three Lions struggled to break down the opposition and spent periods of the game on the backfoot.
Southgate said: "It was exactly the sort of game I thought it would be, really tough. A good opponent, they're very, very athletic. I knew it would be difficult for us after such a high (against Iran) to then replicate that type of performance.
“I'm really pleased with how the players have applied themselves. Some of our quality in the final third could have been a little bit better but we've shown great resilience to defend against an opponent that kept asking questions. We controlled the game from the back but couldn't really open up for that really clear-cut chance.”
When asked what was missing, he added: “A little bit of zip. We didn't quite have that same zip. That's going to happen, this is tournament football. We're not going to roll through a tournament and sweep through without having nights like that when you have to show different qualities to get a result.”
Southgate said: "Silver medal today was a point because it puts us in a really strong position in terms of qualification. If we can win our last game, we win the group. The objective is to get out of the group, we've got three games to do it. We've done it in two games in the last two tournaments, it's very unrealistic to expect that every time.”
He continued: "Wales will be a totally different game. Today we played a team that make it really difficult.
“I am so pleased with the way we built from the back and they make it really difficult to build. We have had problems with that in the past. Our two centre-backs with the ball were absolutely outstanding. I don't think people appreciate how good they are and they defended their box brilliantly.”
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