Gareth Southgate makes England shirt a ‘cape not a straitjacket’ – USA manager

Venue: Qatar Dates: Sunday, 20 November – Sunday, 18 December Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC Radio 5 Live, iPlayer and the BBC Sport website and app

Gareth Southgate has been praised for turning the England shirt into a “cape rather than a straitjacket” by the manager of World Cup opponents USA.

Southgate led England to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals and Euro 2020 final.

“Gareth has done a great job of helping the players cope with pressure,” US boss Gregg Berhalter said.

“Actually using the jersey as a cape rather than a straitjacket and really giving them the freedom to play on the field, giving them the idea that they can represent their country in a positive way and make the country proud.”

Southgate’s players summoned up a spirited performance – if not the result they were after – as they fought back from 2-0 down to draw 3-3 with Germany at Wembley on Monday night.

Captain Harry Kane said the display showed the “determination, passion and desire to wear this England shirt” , as they drew a line under a winless Nations League campaign that saw them relegated from the top tier.

Despite England’s poor recent run of form, which included a 4-0 defeat at home to Hungary, Berhalter is sure the Euro 2020 runners-up are capable of mounting a challenge in Qatar.

“I think we all agree they have a squad that can win the World Cup,” he said.

England kick off their World Cup campaign in Group B against Iran on 21 November, before matches against USA (25 November) and Wales (29 November).

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