ENGLAND Under-21 manager Gareth Southgate believes the performances of his young squad at this week’s Toulon Tournament show the national game is in good health.
As the senior team flew to Miami ahead of the summer’s World Cup, Southgate’s side lost 1-0 to Portugal in yesterday’s third/fourth place play-off, with Brazil winning the tournament after beating host nation France 5-2.
A 3-0 victory over Qatar was England’s sole success in five matches, yet Southgate is positive about the future.
“Results-wise we haven’t got what we have deserved, but the two games we have lost have been by the finest of margins,” he said. “Ultimately we are looking at players who can go into our first team and be a success with the seniors.
“We needed the challenge of playing against some top nations to see if they can cope with that. Quite clearly they can.”