Belfast Telegraph

There's nobody to blame but us for not reaching final: Sterling

 

Raheem Sterling
Raheem Sterling

By Carl Markham

Raheem Sterling admitted England were punished for "silly" mistakes after their Nations League semi-final defeat to Netherlands.

The Manchester City ace, who was named captain as he reached the 50 cap mark, felt his team were their own worst enemy.

Marcus Rashford's penalty fired England ahead but Matthijs de Ligt equalised and an own goal from Kyle Walker followed by a Quincy Promes goal settled the contest.

"Towards the end of the second half I thought we were the better team but we let in a goal and made some silly mistakes, at this level you get punished for them," said Sterling.

"They got their pressing right on the night and we made a few mistakes.

"We have to keep trying, we can't just stop here. The team was slightly altered today, with a few players missing who normally play. Players came in and did a job, we have a few new players and everyone tried their best but it wasn't to be.

"We have still made progress to get to this stage, it's about kicking on and trying achieve the last bit."

England boss Gareth Southgate insisted he will keep faith with England's tactics of playing out from the back despite gifting Holland two goals.

The Three Lions manager said: "Play out better, the last one there's an element of fatigue and when you are fatigued errors happen.

"It's not a case of stopping what we're doing."

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