Sterling earns praise for England performance

England manager Gareth Southgate and hat-trick hero Harry Kane were both effusive in their praise of Raheem Sterling after the 4-0 Euro 2020 qualifying win over Bulgaria.

The Manchester City forward teed up Kane for the important opening goal and then scored one himself at Wembley.

“He will be disappointed he hasn’t got the hat-trick as he thrives on scoring goals,” Southgate told ITV.

“I thought he was electric and carried the threat from the first whistle.”

Raheem Sterling is congratulated on his goal by Harry Kane
Raheem Sterling is congratulated on his goal by Harry Kane (Tim Goode/PA)

Kane also highlighted the importance of the contribution his fellow goalscorer makes to the team.

“It is great for him, he has taken his club form into internationals the last couple of years,” said the Tottenham striker, who converted two penalties in his treble.

“He is an amazing player to play with and he set me up for a nice, easy one and I managed to repay the favour towards the end.”

England face main rivals Kosovo on Tuesday and Southgate expects a better performance, especially after a disappointing first half.

“I think it improved as the game went on, we didn’t need to over-complicate things really,” he added.

“At times there were a few too many touches and we were slow moving the ball and their formation caused us some problems.

“It’s certainly not complacency. Generally pleased, especially some of our attacking play was very exciting.”

Gareth Southgate had few complaints over England's performance
Gareth Southgate had few complaints over England’s performance (Tim Goode/PA)

Kane agreed with his manager but felt with a 100 per cent record after three matches they were right where they wanted to be.

“We are full of confidence and feeling good so hopefully we can start well and get ahead and try to finish it off like we did today,” he added.

“I think we will have to press better (against Kosovo), it will be difficult.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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