England boss Gareth Southgate has revealed he started his research on Senegal two months before the World Cup even started.
An efficient second-half display saw Marcus Rashford score twice and Phil Foden strike to make it a comfortable evening as England put their disappointing draw to the USA on Friday behind them.
“I’m really pleased but I was pleased three or four days ago but nobody else was! So that’s how it is,” Southgate told talkSPORT.
“I think we’ve played well, we’ve navigated a tricky group and tonight we dealt with an occasion that can be very tense but our players showed their experience, showed their class and I was really pleased with the way they handled it all.”
It’s expected England will face a sterner test in the form of Senegal, who won the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year, and Southgate is wary of their threat.
“They’ll be tough,” Southgate added. “I saw them play Iran in Vienna back in September.
“They’re very well organised, they’ve got a lot of good individual players, a lot of them playing in the big European leagues.
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“The expectations now will rise, which is brilliant because we’ll have given everyone a great night at home which we want so we’ve got to handle that.”
And Southgate’s players echoed the sentiments of their manager.
On the Senegal test that awaits, Phil Foden said: “Oh, really tough. I think they defend really well and make it really compact so it’s hard to find the pockets.
“It’s going to be an exciting game and all the lads are looking forward to it.”
Jordan Henderson added: “Really tough game but it always is. It’s always going to be tough in the World Cup, but especially in the knockout rounds.
“They’re African champions, a very, very good team. I’ve watched them a little bit because of Sadio Mane.
“So a really, really tough game so we need to recover and get ready as best as we can.”
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