England coach Southgate defends flat performance for Belgium defeat

England coach Gareth Southgate defended their flat performance for defeat to Belgium on Thursday. The Three Lions' B-team lost to an Adnan Januzaj wonder-strike as Belgium topped Group G at the World Cup. His eight-change team was booed for their lack of intensity but boss Southgate admitted: “We are not happy to be beaten, but we had double objectives tonight. “The knockout game is the biggest game for a decade for us. “I think it was an even game. I thought they had better controlled possession than us at times. It was a good test for us. It didn't happen for Marcus Rashford tonight but we don't suffer for it. “We want to win football matches so we're not happy to come away being beaten. “This was a game that we wanted to win, but the knockout game is the biggest game for a decade for us so we had to make sure our key players were preserved. “The players who've played tonight have given absolutely everything and never stopped. Everyone's seen the level that we've been playing at and we've got to keep improving."

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