Southgate hails England's 'courage, character and composure' after hard-fought win over Poland


Gareth Southgate hails England’s ‘courage, character and composure’ after hard-fought win over Poland maintained perfect start in World Cup qualifying – as manager praises John Stones for bouncing back from error to set up Harry Maguire’s winner

Gareth Southgate praised England’s courage as they fought back to secure a crucial Wembley win over Poland on Wednesday night.

Harry Maguire’s unstoppable shot snatched a late victory for the Three Lions as they maintained their 100 per cent start to World Cup qualification.

But having taken the lead through Harry Kane’s first-half penalty, England were stunned after Jukub Moder’s second half leveller.

Gareth Southgate praised England's courage after crucial Wembley win over Poland

Gareth Southgate praised England’s courage after crucial Wembley win over Poland

‘Definitely, it was about character. We were in control in the first half and then to concede a goal like we did can hit the team.

‘But they stuck at it and recovered their composure and got an important set-play winner.

‘We saw that we played a very good Polish side and after doing a lot of good things this week – we can see there is a step to go.

England defender Harry Maguire thumped home the winning goal with five minutes left

England defender Harry Maguire thumped home the winning goal with five minutes left

‘What I really liked was that we had a lot of players missing and could have refreshed the team in the last two matches and that slight fatigue started to tell but the players stuck at it and deserved the win.’

John Stones second-half error gifted Poland an equaliser, but the Manchester City star bravely set-up his central defensive partner’s late winner.

And Southgate praised Stones for the way he recovered from his costly error, saying: ‘He’s managed to compose himself for the rest of the game and had a part in the winning goal.

‘You can fold in those moments and he didn’t. He has been having a really good season. He made a mistake, he knows that, but he bounced back during the game and has got to keep doing that.’

England players ran over to celebrate with John Stones after he set up the winner

England players ran over to celebrate with John Stones after he set up the winner

Stones had been at fault for Poland's equaliser when he was caught out by Jakub Moder

Stones had been at fault for Poland’s equaliser when he was caught out by Jakub Moder

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