Nathan Redmond plays his part in England Under-21’s victory over Moldova
- Credit: PA
England Under-21s may have only netted once against minnows Moldova on Thursday night, but Gareth Southgate was pleased with what he saw during his first match in charge.
The former international last month signed a three-year deal to become head coach, with a remit of creating a winning team whilst developing young talent.
Southgate has spoken of his desire for the team to play with freedom and he got that this evening as England peppered the Moldova goal.
While debutant Saido Berahino's early strike was all the Young Lions had to show for their endeavours, Southgate was pleased with what he saw – with Norwich City winger Nathan Redmond a lively presence during his 75 minutes before giving way to Sammy Ameobi.
'I think that when we watch the game back there will be so many good things from it,' he said. 'But obviously when it is 10 minutes until the end and they are starting to put free-kicks in your box, you run the risk of there being a punchline at the end you don't want.
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'I am very pleased with so many things, though. I thought we controlled possession well, even when the goal didn't come we didn't panic.'
The new era came in the wake of a miserable summer in which England lost all three matches at Euro 2013, leading to the end of Stuart Pearce's six-year reign.
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'He has been very supportive,' Southgate said of his former international team-mate. 'He sent me a message before the game today and that sums up the man really, he's a special person.'