Gareth Southgate claims England have been 'too reliant' on Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling for goals

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Gareth Southgate claims England have been ‘too reliant’ on Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling for goals as he calls on others to replicate their club form and step up for Three Lions ahead of this year’s World Cup

Gareth Southgate has admitted England have been ‘too reliant’ on Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling for goals following the stalemate draw with Italy on Saturday. 

In a repeat of the Euro 2020 final, the Three Lions squandered a number of opportunities to get on the scoresheet but may well deem themselves to be fortunate not to have conceded thanks to Aaron Ramsdale’s heroics. 

Southgate believes other players in the team need to replicate their club form and step up for England ahead of November’s World Cup.  

Gareth Southgate says England have been heavily reliant on Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling

Gareth Southgate says England have been heavily reliant on Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling

Speaking to Channel 4 after the game, Southgate said: ‘I’ve said earlier in the week we’ve been too reliant on Harry and Raheem for our goals. Other have got to step into that space.

‘A number of them do it with their clubs but at international level at the moment they haven’t managed to convert that. We’ve looked dangerous without getting the goals that are needed in the bigger games.’

Kane’s goal from the penalty spot against Germany means England have scored just the single goal in their opening three Nations League games. 

England’s reliance on Kane and Sterling was apparent last summer as the duo combined with seven goals on England’s route to the Euro 2020 final. 

Southgate was pleased with his team’s overall performance against the Azzurri and squashed talks of it being a cautious showing. 

Southgate is pleased with the overall performance against Italy and he says it wasn't cautious

Southgate is pleased with the overall performance against Italy and he says it wasn’t cautious 

England's winless start to the Nations League campaign following Saturday's draw with Italy

England’s winless start to the Nations League campaign following Saturday’s draw with Italy

‘There were things we did really well in Germany and things we needed to improve upon and we improved upon a lot of those things today, getting the ball through their midfield press into the next line – we were much better at,’ the England boss said. 

‘We’ve had two to three really good chances we needed to score and we just lacked that little bit of sharpness in the final third. But the general performance I was pleased with. There were positive individual performances, players we needed to see and who have gone and done well.

‘I don’t see how you can (call performance cautious) really, we’re trying to move the ball through against a very good well organised team. We’ve got the ball into our forward players, we’ve given all of them a go and tried to refresh it.

‘I think at the moment that little bit of sharpness in the final third isn’t quite there but I was pleased with the general performance.’

England will return to the Molineux once again on Tuesday evening when they take on Hungary. That will be followed up by games against Italy and Germany in September before taking on Iran in their World Cup opener on 21 November. 

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