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Gareth Southgate hails England's tactical progression vs Germany

Gareth Southgate hailed England's desire to learn and improve on a tactical level after they impressed in a goalless draw against world champions Germany at Wembley Stadium.

In the Three Lions' first friendly after booking their place at Russia 2018, Southgate’s side showed a spark and flair rarely seen in qualifying as they dramatically stepped up the opposition to prepare for the World Cup.

While Southgate admits there is still plenty to do with more friendlies against world class opposition to come, he is beginning to get an idea of what he wants.

"Well I think against the better teams that we’ve played [we’ve progressed tactically] - in the qualification games tactically you’ve got very few questions to answer and you’ve got the same problem to solve,” he told Standard Sport.

"I haven’t liked us in a 4-2-3-1 [formation], our positional discipline with the ball has not been good.

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"Tonight [against Germany] we had to be tactically right with and without the ball, that’s the nature of top games and I think the players are tackling those concepts on really well.

"But also, we’re asking them to not just play, but to think about what they’re doing all the time, where do they need to press how do they press not just blindly going, chasing about the field and playing with their heart.

"They’ve got to be a team that’s switched on, because against the very best if you get the pressing wrong then they’ll carve you apart - it happened a couple of times tonight.

"I think that’s one of the most pleasing things of working with this group over the period of time [I have]." 

Southgate and his squad will get another chance to put their tactical nous to the test when they welcome Neymar, Willian and the rest of the Brazil squad to Wembley on Tuesday evening for another World Cup warm-up.

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