Gareth Southgate reserved special praise for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Harry Winks after England concluded their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign in Kosovo.

The Three Lions won their final Group A match in comfortable fashion, having already qualified after thrashing Montenegro on Thursday.

Southgate deployed Winks in a more advanced role in the midfield three against Kosovo, and he combined with his midfield colleague for the opener.

Oxlade-Chamberlain spotted Winks’s run and picked him out, as the Tottenham star’s first touch took him into the box before he slotted the ball in the corner.

When asked what positives he had taken from England’s two qualifiers against Kosovo and Montenegro, Southgate said: “I think the performances of those two players.

Harry Winks put England ahead against Kosovo
Harry Winks put England ahead against Kosovo

“For Alex at his stage of playing, the second start was physically difficult, but he’s been a real plus with the power of his running, and the attacking threat he gives us from that area.

“Harry Winks I thought was excellent both games. Really took the ball well at moments tonight where we needed calming.

“His ability to receive the ball under pressure and keep the calmness in possession really settled the team.”

It was Winks's first international goal
It was Winks’s first international goal

England ran out 4-0 winners over Kosovo in a scoreline which perhaps flattered Southgate’s men.

Winks’s first half opener had put them in command, but they didn’t add their second until almost 10 minutes from time.

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Harry Kane finished off a deflected Raheem Sterling cross to double their advantage, before Marcus Rashford and Mason Mount both scored late on.

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Despite England’s ruthlessness going forward, they had been tested several times on the counter attack, and it was another far from convincing defensive display.

Southgate was pleased with the work of Oxlade-Chamberlain
Southgate was pleased with the work of Oxlade-Chamberlain

Questioned on whether he had any concerns after their last competitive fixture before next summer’s tournament, Southgate added: “I think the set plays in particular are something we need to go away and look at.

“There have been too many people free in the box and chances given away. We’re always looking to improve, we know there’s a bit of work to do.

“But we can’t fault the players through this qualifying campaign, they’ve been absolutely ruthless.”





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