While Saturday represents a further chance for Gareth Southgate to experiment with his team ahead of one final friendly against Costa Rica before their World Cup opener against Tunisia on June 18, Nigeria will play their strongest XI. I was pleased with that.
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Two first half goals from Gary Cahill at the seventh minute and Harry Kane after 39 minutes sealed the victory for the Three Lions, and a 47th minute consolation from Alex Iwobi was insufficient for Nigeria to leave London avoiding a defeat.
In the first half, Nigeria could not cope - but a formation switch at the interval from the visitors soon nullified the threats, suggesting Southgate will have to be flexible in Russian Federation. We are now a country who could not hold on to a one-goal lead against Iceland. It wasn't a case of him taking a shot every time he got the ball.
This has got to be the right attitude for several reasons, the first being that conditions in Qatar, where temperatures will be very high, are unlikely to suit English players as much as conditions in Russian Federation. "That's the best possible impact you can see, if your centre-forward is playing in that way". Yet this provides more questions than answers and having churned out a solid showing against Nigeria, Butland will need to make sure he doesn't put a foot wrong if he, as expected, starts against Costa Rica in midweek, with Pickford at present perhaps the favourite to get the nod from Southgate in Russian Federation.
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"We were a bit slow to react to their tactical change at half-time, and it ended up as a really good test for us", added Southgate.
"It will be an interesting game for us".
This mirrored their comeback against Argentina past year, where after going 2-0 down at half-time, they made a raft of changes and blitzed the Albiceleste with four goals, winning 4-2. We can improve on what we did. This is a World Cup match for us.
Pope had a good season for Burnley and kept more clean sheets than any other English 'keeper. Normally, when you play for England, there's not an bad lot of opportunity to produce a lot of saves.
'Some slightly better decision making or quality and we would have scored more'.