March 23, 2018

Gareth Southgate leads England through to 2018 World Cup

07 October 2017, 12:46 | Kristopher Drake

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England team predicted line-up Slovenia

Gareth Southgate says now is not the time for a post-mortem on England's sluggish 1-0 win over Slovenia which booked their spot at the 2018 World Cup.

Depending on Iceland's result in Turkey on Friday night, they could still make it to Russian Federation where they would be gunning for another crack at England.

"I feel good", Hart said.

"I think this team has potential, but we have got a hell of a lot of work to do".

"But we're there [at the World Cup] and now we build and we look to where we can improve all the time".

"They are giving everything they've got".

"All we can do is work hard and take care of our business".

"I think what the team have been through over 18 months, and as a young team with what they have to deal with in terms of expectation, criticism of their performances, it's tough for them", he said. We have to give them the belief and the backing to help them achieve.

The Derby Counter midfielder rifled in the victor four minutes after half-time in Tbilisi as Chris Coleman's side pulled to within a point of Group D leaders Serbia, who would qualify with a win in Austria later.

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Man-of-the-match Joe Hart also reckons people should be smiling. "Tonight, we go to the World Cup and that's fantastic".

"The guys were brilliant". It's hard, these games are hard and to have Harry doing that in he last minute is a big feeling. There are some big countries around the world that are struggling.

Ahead of the final 1-2 rounds of qualifying we've devised a tricky World Cup manager quiz for you all, which puts your knowledge to the test.

England were jeered at times by a crowd of 61,000 in the national stadium, who demonstrated their boredom by throwing paper aeroplanes onto the pitch, but the result ensured they qualified with a game to spare and extended their unbeaten record in qualifying to 38 matches, a run stretching back to 2009 in a game with no stakes in Ukraine.

Immediately after the game, the Football Association announced England will play friendlies against Brazil and world champions Germany at Wembley in November.

Harry Kane fired the country to victory and next summer's finals in Russian Federation, but in truth the Three Lions put in a concerning display against Slovenia as they limped to a 1-0 win on Thursday evening. It is understood a trip to Holland has been lined-up in March, with the FA now able to start rubber-stamping tournament preparations that are well under way.

With midfield pair Henderson and Dier sitting deep to provide a solid foundation, England must rely on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford to provide the flair to create goalscoring chances.

Slovenia: Oblak, Struna, Mevlja, Cesar, Jokic, Rotman (Matavz, 79 mins), Ilicic, Krhin, Bezjak (Repas, 72 mins), Sporar (Birsa, 55 mins), Verbic.

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