Gareth Southgate Pleased With England's Patience Following Comfortable Win
England manager Gareth Southgate claims he was pleased with his sides patience after their 4-0 win over Malta in Valletta on Friday night.
A brace from Harry Kane was added to by goals from Ryan Bertrand and substitute Danny Welbeck, ensuring that the Three Lions overcame the stubborn Maltese who put up a spirited display in a game they weren't expected to get anything from.
The result leaves England six points clear from Scotland and Slovenia in joint third place, and a positive result against Slovakia on Monday at Wembley will all but secure their qualification for the World Cup in Russia next summer.
Speaking to the press after the game, Southgate insisted he was pleased with his side's performance, saying: "We could of been two goals up very early on, we know Malta defend really deep and are so difficult to breakdown and create chances against but part of keeping possession and tiring them put means the goals come late."
Despite seeing the Three Lions struggle early on, Southgate was pleased with the outcome but knows accept Slovakia will provide a sterner test at Wembley on Monday: "Of course people would of wanted the goals earlier but we've won 4-0 and that's all that matters, we lacked ruthlessness earlier in the game.
"But because of the way Malta your goals come late, what pleased me is it can be a difficult environment, you're expected to get your goals early and win comfortably, we stuck with the plan and didn't panic."
The 46-year-old was also pleased with the levels of maturity shown by his teams, acknowledging that it would of been easy to become anxious after their disappointing first half performance: "I've played in England games where that has happened and watched England games where that has happened.
"What pleased me is that we talked all week about staying calm if we hadn't got the goals early and that's what we did."