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Southgate: England 21s will only benefit from hard-fought Norway win

The England U21 side defeated Norway 1-0 in their opening Euro2017 qualifier on Monday.


Gareth Southgate deployed a new-look Young Lions in Drammen, which featured the likes of Jordan Pickford, Joe Gomez, Matt Targett, Dele Alli and Jordon Ibe, and was happy to see them come through with the goods despite only getting together as a squad recently.

"I don't think we've had long enough together to flow as a team yet and Norway were very solid defensively and as a team. They encouraged us to have the ball at the back and were then quick to press, wanting to counter," he said.

"So we fell into that trap a little bit as we moved the ball too slowly, but that side of our game will improve.

"For a lot of the boys, it's their first qualifier so they'll get a better understanding of international football and controlling games.

"There are qualifiers away from home where your defenders have to come to the fore, dig in and head balls."

England's next qualifier takes place on October 13 against Kazakhstan at home.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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