The Three Lions started the World Cup with a 6-2 win over Iran but laboured to a stalemate at the Al Bayt Stadium on Friday night in their second World Cup fixture, even if they still lead their group – they will progress to the last 16 providing they avoid a four-goal defeat to Wales in their third match.
“Of course I want our fans to go home happy, and for our fans at home to have a smile on their faces, and we haven’t quite achieved that today,” Southgate admitted.
“But people are going to react how they are going to react – the objective is to qualify and you have three games to do it. We have to stay calm in these moments.
“We lacked a bit of zip and quality in the final third, and weren’t able to open up to create really good chances, but we had to show another side of us, the resilience without the ball. To be successful in a tournament, you’ve got to show different faces.
“I’m sure there’ll be a lot of noise about the performance but not many teams go through with nine points. The players were very down and disappointed after the game, but I told them that isn’t how it’s going to be for the next few days.”
It wasn’t just fans who met the performance with dismay – ITV pundit Roy Keane lamented the game as “terrible” in the studio afterwards.
Christian Pulisic felt that the boos from England fans showed that the USA had done something right.
“I guess that’s a positive sign for us when you play a really good team,” he said. “We had to push back and of course fans don’t like to see that when we’re the underdogs, but we went toe-to-toe with them and put in a really good performance.
“I thought there were stretches where we showed dominance and could have won the game, but to come out with a draw is a decent result.” Source: fourfourtwo.com