Gareth Southgate has heaped praise on his England Under-21 team in post-match dressing room speech after his side defeated Croatia 2-1 on the night and 4-2 on aggregate to qualify for the 2015 European Championships.
Goals from Leicester City's Liam Moore and Derby's wonder kid Will Hughes were enough for England to see off Croatia in Vinkovci on Tuesday.
Southgate commended his players for a 'brave' performance and being 'prepared to pass the ball and press high' after half time with the score evenly poised at 1-1. The Manager was even humorous in his own deprecation, joking that the reason that England couldn't keep the ball is because he was in the team.
"People say we couldn't play like that - I've not played in England teams who could keep the ball like that. It might have been because the centre back couldn't use it...
"It's a f****** credit to you - you can go and you can change people's opinions of what we're about and what we're capable of doing."
"That (game) could have gone either way couldn't it at half-time. If you hadn't been prepared to pass the ball and press high it could have been a different f****** story. They get one and then it's a wobble but you were f****** fantastic, well done - well done everybody.'
Southgate was capped 57 times for country, scoring twice. He was appointed England under-21 manager in August 2013 and has lost only 3 of his 20 games in charge so far and he will be hoping that his young side can put up a fight in next year's European Championships.
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