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UEFA Nations League 2022-23: 'Difficult for me to be too critical' - Southgate after England's loss to Italy

On Friday, England suffered a 0-1 loss to Italy in the UEFA Nations League 2022-23. The Three Lions remain winless in five successive matches so far. However, English boss Gareth Southgate has dug the positive from this loss.

football UEFA Nations League unl 2022-23: Difficult for me to be too critical - Gareth Southgate after England loss to Italy-ayh
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First Published Sep 24, 2022, 2:23 PM IST

England is struggling to make an impact in international football of late. On Friday, it suffered a narrow 0-1 defeat to reigning European champion Italy at San Siro in Milan during the 2022-23 UEFA Nations League (UNL) clash, with Giacomo Raspadori scoring the lone winner of the tie in the 68th minute, following an assist from Leonardo Bonucci. Consequently, the Three Lions remain winless in their past five straight matches, a matter of concern heading into the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar in November. However, English head coach Gareth Southgate has refrained from being too critical about the performance and has drawn positives from it.

"It's difficult for me to be too critical of the performance. We had more possession, more shots, more shots on target. For large parts of the game, we played very well. We didn't deal with the decisive moment defensively. We had moments where we had the chance to be decisive in their final third, [but] our quality wasn't quite right," Southgate noted after the failure.

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However, English midfielder Declan Rice feels there is no reason to panic for his side, as he reckoned, "It's disappointing. Every tournament we go into, we set out to win. We have slipped below our standards in the Nations League, but I didn't think it was all bad tonight. It's coming. It was a much better performance tonight than we saw in the summer. It's not that we're not creating the chances. I see it in training. There are goals for fun. Trust me, we will be good," added Rice while talking to Channel 4.

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