England manager, Gareth Southgate has described a 1-1 draw against Hungary in their latest 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier as “disappointing” following a difficult match.
England endured a difficult evening (12 October) at Wembley Stadium as John Stones’ 37th minute flick-in could only rescue a 1-1 draw against Hungary, after Roland Sallai had put the Hungarians in front from the penalty spot following Luke Shaw’s foul on Loic Nego.
Poland meanwhile defeated Albania to move to within three points of Southgate’s Three Lions heading into next month’s final two rounds of fixtures.
Reflecting on the team’s unexpectedly below-par performance after making nine changes, Southgate said: “It was a disappointing performance. Full credit to Hungary, they caused us a tactical problem. We weren’t fluid and we didn’t play at the level we needed to, simple as that.”
With qualifiers against Albania and San Marino to come next month, Southgate admitted that the team must “go away and reflect,” in order to improve with specific focus on “the balance of the team but I think individually we can be better as well.”
Singling out their biggest issue of their game plan in which they “weren’t sharp”, Southgate explained: “We gave the ball away and we were overrunning things. I just think we were underneath it.”
West Ham and England midfielder, Declan Rice meanwhile was pleased with the team’s performance, adding: “You can say it’s poor because we drew the game but we dominated,” despite facing a compact Hungarian defence.
Speaking about Shaw’s conceded penalty, Rice was delighted with how they responded to falling behind, saying: “[It was a] silly penalty to give away, [but it was] good to get back into the game. We had to keep our heads, had to keep playing but we couldn’t find that killer touch at the end to get the win.”
The 22 year-old though was impressed by Hungary’s performance and work rate, as he commented: “You sometimes have to give credit to how the opposition set up.
“Hungary were much better than when we played them away, they were really tight, really compact, worked really hard and when you’re playing against low blocks, it’s hard for our attackers to create stuff.”