Gareth Southgate claims his England side is far from the finished article following their ‘poorest’ performance in some time against the Czech Republic.
The Three Lions blew the chance to seal Euro 2020 qualification with three matches to spare as the Czechs capitalised on the visitors’ listless performance in Prague.
Harry Kane’s fifth-minute penalty was as good as it got for England, with Jakub Brabec quickly levelling and substitute Zdenek Ondrasek netting a dream debut goal late on as the Czech Republic secured a memorable 2-1 comeback win.
Southgate had no arguments about the outcome as his side’s ponderous performance led to a 43-match unbeaten run in European and World Cup qualifying matches coming to an end, 10 years and a day since losing 1-0 in Ukraine.
But the England boss insisted his squad still have a long way to go despite Euro 2020 fast approaching.
“I’m the manager, I pick the way that we chose to play and I’m responsible for the results,” he told talkSPORT.
“But I know everyone in there will feel that tonight could’ve been better.
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“We had enormous credit for a long period of time. That’s the poorest we’ve played for a long time.
“The players are human beings, we’re not going to be perfect every time, but when you have nights like that, you have to try and get something out of the game.
“That’s why it’s annoying to concede right at the end and not take anything from the game.
“We know we’re a long way from the finished article and I don’t think I’ve ever said anything different. Tonight was case and point.”