By 90Min
November 11, 2017

Gareth Southgate has revealed his pleasure at the "encouraging" performance of his young England side during Friday's draw with Germany.

The Three Lions' starting lineup was made up of just one player aged 30 or over - Jamie Vardy - while five stars were handed their senior bows by Southgate on the Wembley turf.

England went toe-to-toe with their old enemies and impressed fans and critics alike with their mature display - something that Southgate also revealed he had been left delighted by in quotes published by Sky Sports.

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He beamed: "I'm really not surprised by what [the young players] have done because they've shown that previously in other ages and this week in training. There has been an energy about the group," he said.

"It seemed as if there has been loads of pull-outs but actually, it's been really tight and without getting too carried away, I thought the performance was a really encouraging one.

"Tactically, the players have performed well. There are still loads of things we can get better at the more we play that system.

"The whole thing was better for the fans and they will have been encouraged by seeing players they haven't seen before. I think there was a freshness and energy about it."

Ruben Loftus-Cheek was one of the stand out performers on the night for England, with the 21-year-old Crystal Palace loanee winning the Man of the Match award for his sterling display in the heart of midfield.

Southgate added that he was not surprised by the powerhouse performance of the Chelsea star and backed the midfielder to use that display as a confidence booster for the rest of the season.

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He said: "Loftus-Cheek is a player I've watched do that since U16 level, and despite his size and appearance and the way he plays, he's not hugely confident at times. I think tonight, it took him 10 minutes to have a look around and realise, 'I can do this'.

"He's got so many good attributes and that's why we put him into the team. I don't think the wider public will be as aware of him, you would have to have followed him very closely, but we believe in him and the others we played.

"It was a brilliant experience for our players and we've now got to see if we can try and replicate that against a side who rested a lot of their players today on Tuesday. For me, it was a real positive tonight."

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