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Gareth Southgate on the half-time talk that saved England from Swiss upset

England edged past Switzerland thanks to Marcus Rashford's winner.

Sport360 staff 2018/09/12

Gareth Southgate was pleased to hear voices raised in the England dressing room as “stern words” at half-time against Switzerland helped deliver a first victory in four games.

England were at risk of sinking to their worst ever sequence of defeats having lost their World Cup semi-final to Croatia, a third-place play-off to Belgium and Saturday’s Nations League date with Spain.

A much-changed starting XI, containing only two players who lined up at Wembley four days earlier and several with precious few Premier League minutes under their belt, were fortunate to reach the break level at the King Power Stadium after Xherdan Shaqiri hit the post.

A player-led inquest followed and, nine minutes after play resumed, Marcus Rashford’s smart volley ensured a 1-0 win.

“We always encourage them to have a voice. It’s important they feel close enough that they can get on to each other,” said Southgate.

“They were frustrated by the first half. I wasn’t in there at that moment because we always give them the first three or four minutes to themselves.

“We have to make sure that doesn’t boil over but it was quite calm by the time we got in there.

“That’s a good sign there’s some leadership in the group. They recognise when they want to be better.

“Today they were harsh on themselves.”

The view from the camp was equally welcoming of the lively mid-match debate.

Man-of-the-match Danny Rose told BBC Radio 5Live: “We could have been two or three nil down at half-time. It’s great we can all shout at each other and tell each other to improve like we did.

“In the end, we are over the moon to keep a clean sheet and get back to winning ways.”

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