England’s soft centre remains Gareth Southgate’s biggest headache | England

There is always room for improvement. The mood in the England camp is high after their 6-2 victory over Iran on Monday, but nobody is resting on their laurels. There is an awareness that sterner tests lie in wait, starting with Friday’s meeting with a speedy and inventive USA side, and much of the focus this week has been on correcting the defensive sloppiness that gifted Iran two second-half goals at the Khalifa International Stadium.

That dip in concentration has been on Gareth Southgate’s mind. It was a reminder not to get carried away during this tournament of shocks and it gave…

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