England's interim manager Gareth Southgate was happy to have secured a draw against Slovenia in the World Cup Qualifiers on Tuesday given the team was in disarray. Southgate also praised under-fire goalkeeper Joe Hart for his brilliant performance on the night.
After temporarily taking over the reigns of England's senior team following Sam Allardyce's sacking, U-21 boss Southgate led England to a home win over Malta before Tuesday's draw against Slovenia in the Qualifiers.
Despite the match ending goalless, Southgate was happy that the team had achieved enough to keep them on track for qualification. “We wanted six points but we have taken over a mess and had to steady the ship. We are on track," Southgate told ITV after the match.
“The overall objective is to qualify so long term that could be an important point. Everyone can see we could be better but their chances came from our mistakes or set-pieces,” he added.
Southgate showered praise on goalkeeper Hart after the 29-year-old spared England the blushes with a succession of outstanding saves.
“We owe our goalkeeper really for getting a point,” said Southgate.
Hart, currently on a loan at Italian side Torino from Manchester City, has been criticized by many for England's debacle at Euro 2016 as his two costly errors against Iceland and Wales led to the team’s exit in the group stage of the event.
But Southgate revealed that he had a talk with the goalkeeper which had helped him to remain calm during the match. “He was fantastic. He's at his best when he's calm and composed, it's something we've discussed and this week his manner has been very calm. He was at his best tonight,” Southgate added.
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