2022-11-25 06:00:00

Beat USA and England can focus on the bigger picture

Logo The Telegraph
The Telegraph
By Gareth Davies

Get the job done. That will be Gareth Southgates message to England as they face the United States.

A win will guarantee qualification for the last-16 of this World Cup as they once again take the jeopardy out of the final group game.

That is not to be sniffed at. It will mean that for the third successive tournament the 2018 World Cup, Euro 2020 and now this World Cup, all under Southgate England will have qualified with a game to spare.

Given their struggles in previous tournaments, in World Cups in particular, when they made such fraught and painful work of it, it would be a serene achievement for Southgate and one which would permit him to ring the changes against Wales next Tuesday if he wants to.

It has allowed us to do other things, Southgate said when asked about the importance of securing an early passage to the knock-out stages in the past and following the thumping 6-2 win over Iran on Monday. Of course we want to get the job done tomorrow.

It is not to be presumptuous or suggest either the Americans or Wales will be taken lightly. There is no trace of arrogance. Southgate has been at pains to reiterate the threat the US pose and the respect he holds for them. After the Iran game he immediately warned they would come full throttle at England and he followed this up on the eve of the match by praising their high-energy and their very athletic midfield and how well they are coached by Gregg Berhalter who has described Southgate as a mentor.

Continue read on telegraph.co.uk

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