In Brief

Today’s back pages: England in ‘great shape’ ahead of Euro 2020

A round up of the sport headlines from UK newspapers on 18 November

Euro 2020 qualifying group A Kosovo 0 England 4 

England completed their Euro 2020 qualification campaign with a 4-0 win in Kosovo last night which means Gareth Southgate’s side will be one of the top six seeds for next summer’s tournament. 

Harry Winks was England’s “fox in the box”, says The Times, after the Tottenham midfielder opened the scoring.

Goals in the last 11 minutes by captain Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford and Mason Mount added gloss to the victory in Pristina.

The Three Lions qualify from group A top with 21 points after seven wins out of eight matches.

Southgate is happy with his squad’s progress and the Daily Star reports that England are in “great shape” ahead of next year’s finals. 

The England boss believes his side are “further ahead” than what they were going into the 2018 Fifa World Cup where they reached the semi-finals. 

“I think the team have belief, for sure, you can see the confidence,” said Southgate. “They have got the confidence to control games with possession, and they know they’re going to score goals.

“We’re definitely further ahead than we were heading into Russia, but we made massive strides in this period when we went into Russia. 

“So, we’ve got to make sure that to get the level of performance next summer, we’re going to have to improve in the way that we did over that spell as well.”

At Euro 2020 the Three Lions will be in group D and they will find out their opponents at the main tournament draw on 30 November. 

Southgate admits that the qualifying opponents are not as strong as what they will face in the Euros. 

He added: “What we don’t know, because we haven’t had those tests more recently against the top eight or ten, is exactly how we’re going to cope in those moments. 

“To win the European Championship is, at the moment, no easier than the World Cup. The final four [at the World Cup in Russia] were all European, and you’ve got to add Spain, Germany, Portugal and all the others into that, so it’s a really high-level tournament.”

England’s next matches will be two friendlies between 23-31 March 2020.

Euro 2020: still work to do for Gareth Southgate’s ‘ruthless’ England

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