England fans slam Eric Dier for his performance on Twitter

Irene MckinneyOct 14, 2018

Winks's only appearance for the national side came in a qualifying win in Lithuania a little over a year ago and he has completed 90 minutes just three times since undergoing surgery on a long-standing ankle complaint in May.

The Three Lions lost the reverse fixture 2-1 at Wembley Stadium back in September after conceding two first half goals.

No Croatia player played more passes in the opposition half or sent in more crosses than the Real Madrid midfielder, and he drew a save from Pickford with a fizzed shot from distance in the second half. "It is still early in his development. I don't think my game has dipped".

"He is the type of player we want to build the future around".

"Now he's established and John as well they looked more than capable of playing in the four". "We should have been more ruthless".

"But good teams adapt". So we have to try and continue that process.

Southgate, wearing his customary waistcoat, monocle and gold pocket watch, told FourFourTwo that the lack of supporters roaring them on in Zagreb will be worth an extra player.

As weird and boring as last night's behind-closed-doors UEFA Nations League game with Croatia was, at least we got to hear England players shouting throughout - which isn't something you can always say.

"I was really pleased he was in the areas to get those chances and, with his general performance as the game went on, he looked more and more of a threat", he said. I'd like to have scored more for England recently.

Eric Dier and Harry Kane headed against the woodwork for the visitors while Marcus Rashford spurned two clear opportunities as England missed out on a first win in the new competition. If the Three Lions fail to take their chances once again, Southgate will surely give him a chance.

"Spain were excellent against Croatia [winning 6-0 in Elche]".

Gareth Southgate's side, who will now prepare to face Spain on Monday, would have been looking to exact some form of retribution against the country that knocked them out of the World Cup in the semi-finals in the summer.

It was a surreal and unusual experience watching the Three Lions with atmosphere replaced by silence and the World Cup semi-final rematch suffered as a result.

"I couldn't ask for more from the players. They've got a top coach in charge in Luis Enrique so this is a very, very tough test".

England's Jadon Sancho, Borussia Dortmund's exciting 18-year old winger, produced a darting run late on after coming off the bench to replace Raheem Sterling and make his worldwide debut before the match fizzled out in the final few minutes. But Southgate is confident the 18-year-old boasts the class and quality to thrive from the outset if required.

"We've had success building with the three and with Eric in that position it's ideal for him to drop in, so that at times was the idea", Southgate told Sky Sports.

"With the young players we have coming through and their positions, having wingers would suit us as well". Also Ross Barkley, who had a good impact on the game as well.

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