There was nothing friendly about the exchange between England players who were frustrated with their first-half performance in Tuesday’s 1-0 victory over Switzerland.
On the heels of consecutive defeats, England’s winless streak looked destined to continue after an opening 45 minutes that defender Danny Rose described as “embarrassing.”
“We were outplayed,” Rose told reporters, according to Matt Law of the Telegraph. “It was a bit embarrassing.
“We could have been two or three down. It’s great we can all shout at each other and tell each other it’s not good enough. The second half wasn’t amazing but it was better than the first and we’re over the moon we got the win.”
England manager Gareth Southgate made nine changes ahead of the friendly at the King Power Stadium to give some of his stars a rest following last week’s Nations League loss to Spain.
Although Southgate admitted he wasn’t present for the heated exchange, the 48-year-old said he expected his men to struggle out of the gate and insisted he’s encouraged by the leadership on display at the break following a poor first half.
(Photo courtesy: Getty Images)
“We always give them (the players) the first three or four minutes to themselves,” said Southgate. “They were frustrated after the first half. I always knew that was a risk today.
“But the players needed the game. They dug in through that tough period and we were able to make some tactical changes at halftime and put some physically sharper players on. The first half was quite predictable, really.
“We always encourage them to have a voice. It’s important they feel close enough that they can get on to each other. Then we have to make sure that doesn’t boil over. But it was quite calm by the time we got in there.
“That’s a good sign there’s some leadership in the group. They recognize when they want to be better. Today they were harsh on themselves. To expect each other to be as sharp as they might be on their first starts is a bit unrealistic.”