AAP Soccer

England just not good enough: Southgate

By AAP Newswire

England manager Gareth Southgate said his team were simply not good enough after they slumped to a 2-1 Euro 2020 qualifying defeat away to the Czech Republic on Friday (Saturday AEDT).

England could have reached the finals with three games to spare with a win and, though they remain in a strong position to qualify, Southgate was far from happy with the display.

"We knew coming to Prague the (Czechs) would be highly motivated," he told reporters.

"The players are human beings and some nights it doesn't happen - tonight was one of those nights.

"We have to accept we weren't good enough, move forward and congratulate the Czechs on their performance," he added.

The result puts the Czech Republic level on 12 points with Group A leaders England, albeit having played a game more.

England's formation never looked right and they struggled with a lack of balance in midfield, but Southgate said the problems were not just tactical.

"Whatever the balance, we didn't use the ball well enough. We have always maintained there is work to be done to be a really top team. Tonight was evidence of that. It's not a night for positives, that's for sure," he said.

England face Bulgaria in Sofia on Monday (Tuesday AEDT) and Southgate has plenty to work on with his squad, which will be without left back Danny Rose who is suspended after picking up a yellow card.

"It's clear we have to improve without the ball. It's something we have spoken about all week," said Southgate.

"We didn't get the reaction we needed. It's going to be an interesting couple of days for us. We have to respond in the right way."