England vs Ukraine: Fans sing Southgate's name in Crawley
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Jose Mourinho believes Gareth Southgate’s doubts with the England team lie in his attacking department. The newly appointed Roma boss was discussing The Three Lions following their emphatic win over Ukraine on Saturday night.
Harry Kane’s brace and goals from Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson meant England made it consecutive semi-finals in major international tournaments.
Southgate’s side now take on Denmark on Wednesday at Wembley with a win meaning a place in the final in front of a home crowd.
The England boss reverted to a back four for Ukraine having played five at the back against Germany. But it remains to be seen what tactics Southgate will opt for against the Danes – who currently ranked 10th in the world.
Discussing what Southgate should do, Mourinho told talkSPORT: “The question now is whether England need to play a back three like they did against Germany (vs Denmark).
“My answer is no they don’t. I think the back four is really solid. Luke Shaw is playing better and better and better.
“Kyle Walker is having an amazing tournament. The two centre-backs are very solid. So the back four, with the amazing tournament the two central midfielders are having, is more than enough to control Denmark defensively.”
England player ratings vs Ukraine: Sterling MOTM as three stars get 8 in stunning rout
However, Mourinho did raise one issue Southgate will have to contend with – hit attacking department.
Mason Mount, Jack Grealish, Jadon Sancho, Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford have all played varying roles at the Euros so far with Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling guaranteed starters.
Mourinho added: “Then you have four players who can decide the creativity of the game, and I think it is there where Gareth (Southgate) may have some doubts.”
It’s an issue Southgate is fully aware of, recognising the players who couldn’t take part against Ukraine and their previous opponents.
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“The players have been fantastic,” Southgate said after the 4-0 win. “To play as well as they did in a game with so much resting on it was impressive.
“We’ve known we had players we needed to look after physically. We know across seven games, the squad is so important, trying to give people a breather at the right time.
“We learned a lot from Russia in that instance. We were trying to balance players with knocks and yellow cards.”
While it’s unlikely Southgate will drop any of Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips, Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane For Denmark, it seems he will have a touch choice as to who will be deployed on the right flank.
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