By 90Min
September 09, 2018

England boss Gareth Southgate has urged his side to 'stick with the plan' after the Three Lions fell to a disappointing 1-2 loss to Luis Enrique's Spain at Wembley on Saturday night. 

Southgate's men took the lead through Marcus Rashford after Luke Shaw's excellent low cross to the far post. However, they were then guilty of complacency after going ahead. 

Spain hit back almost instantly through Saul Niguez, with the Atletico Madrid man firing low past Jordan Pickford just two minutes later. 

Enrique's side, playing their first game under the former Barcelona boss, snatched the lead through Rodrigo's smart finish, which ultimately proved the be the winning goal in both sides' first ever Nations League match. 

Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

Speaking to the media after his side's defeat, Southgate said: "It was a really tough game.

“They are a top, top side and I think for spells kept the ball incredibly well, pressed us and we didn’t keep the ball in the early part of the game well enough.

"But I've got to give the players enormous credit because it was a game where we could’ve folded and disappeared but we didn't.

"We hung in there and in the last 25 or 30 minutes we really came into the game, kept the ball a lot better and created some good chances and could well have got a draw out of it.


"We're under no illusions that Spain were the better team for long periods of that but they are brilliant at what they do and we are in the early stages of what we're trying to do.

"They pressed extremely well and it took us a while to work out where that press was coming from and find a solution to it. We did it a couple of times but at the moment we're still finding our feet in playing out from those areas.

"Now we have a choice. We can either go back to our old style and we'll never be a top team, or we can keep trying to do what we do and suffer at times.

"We have got some players who can do it, others who are improving at it and for me it's the way I believe we should play.

"They have a system in Spain that has produced some of the best midfield players in the world ever. At the moment we have a different profile of player, we can't play the way that they want to play.

"It takes time. We've come a long way in a short space of time and today was as tough a test as you could have against a team that presses like that and are so good in possession.

"I think at the moment we have to stick with the plan, stick with what we're doing and just get better at doing it."

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