Harry Kane backed to end England drought by Gareth Southgate


One of England's biggest problems in the World Cup, despite reaching the semi-final, was the lack of creativity in the midfield. With England having good chances to beat the side that knocked them out in Russia, Southgate was happy with how his players handled their opponents and the freakish circumstances of an empty ground.

What it did prove, as if there were any doubts, is football is nothing without fans.

"The fact is that Modric is the best player in the world officially now and we just lacked that composure, the guile and that know-how that I think a couple of that Croatia team have in [Mario] Mandzukic, [Ivan] Rakitic, [Luka] Modric and [Ivan] Perisic - they've played in Champions League finals and been around the block in the highest quality games and that's what England are just lacking at the moment", Neville told Sky Sports. We just have to make sure we finish the chances.

England manager Gareth Southgate, speaking to BBC Radio 5 live, said: "There would be more concern if we weren't creating chances".

Kane headed a Henderson free kick against the bar before Manchester United forward Rashford served up a pair of astonishing misses in the space of two minutes.

Dejan Lovren was booked for a clumsy tackle on Sterling as the first half petered out, but a much brighter start to the second half nearly brought a goal for either side.

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The England captain has scored seven goals in just nine appearances against the Hammers in his career.

Kramaric sliced wide before Croatia made the night's first change, Perisic making way for Marko Pjaca and the substitute nearly making an instant impact with an effort that curled wide.

Three sides of the ground were empty, with only UEFA officials, media and VIPs from the Croatian and English associations allowed to watch from the main stand in the 8,100-capacity home of HNK Rijeka, three miles outside the port city.

"We're not quite there yet in that aspect, in the way they keep the ball". On another day, we will.

Ross Barkley had strong claims for a penalty waived away on his first global appearance for two-and-a-half years before Rashford was twice presented with golden chances to score for the third straight game for his country. We have to get back to our top form. In the summer we had a system which allowed our players to embed into worldwide football but now they are more experienced.

On the performances of Sancho and Chilwell: "We know Jadon can have an impact in the game".