Gareth Southgate says England playing four-man defence a positive

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Neither side were in full flow in a tiresome atmosphere in Croatia, but England had the better of the chances with Harry Kane hitting the bar and having a goal ruled out for offside.

In the summer we had a system which allowed our players to embed into worldwide football but now they are more experienced.

"Now he's established and John as well they looked more than capable of playing in the four".

Kane has now equalled his longest period without an worldwide goal, but Southgate isn't concerned.

"He is the type of player we want to build the future around". We could have played one of our more experienced right-backs at left-back on Friday and not given Ben Chilwell the opportunity, but in doing what we did you find and discover a player who looks very comfortable at this level. "We have to keep getting in those situations".

Expanding on the thinking behind the change, Southgate added: "I don't think you should be rigid and say that's what we're doing and stick with it regardless". His use of the ball was good and his defending was patient. The 20-year-old's form with the national side reflects that at Manchester United, veering from one extreme to the other, but Southgate retains faith in a player who has already gained 28 caps.

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"Going into the World Cup, I felt we needed a little bit more protection for the defence and the opportunity to get two forwards in the game".

A small group of dedicated England fans still made the journey down and watched from a hill but were not rewarded for their efforts.

"I couldn't ask for more from the players".

Mario Mandzukic scored the winning goal to end England's World Cup dream in Moscow, but without the Juventus striker, who has since retired from global football, Croatia lacked a focal point up front.

England's Jadon Sancho, Borussia Dortmund's exciting 18-year old winger, produced a darting run late on after coming off the bench to replace Raheem Sterling and make his worldwide debut before the match fizzled out in the final few minutes. We know he can have an impact on the game, and he did that when we eventually got the ball to him.

A completely miscued finish was followed by a failure to test Livakovic from a glorious position, squandering two chances to hand England the lead. With us, it was just about easing him into the way we play and the environment. Both players' first thought seemed to pass backwards or sideways, leaving the creative burden on Ross Barkley exclusively.

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