Monday, December 4, 2023


HomeInternational CompetitionsGareth Southgate praises Rico Lewis after 'excellent' England debut

Gareth Southgate praises Rico Lewis after ‘excellent’ England debut

England manager Gareth Southgate hailed Rico Lewis after his debut for the Three Lions against North Macedonia.

England ended their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign with a 1-1 draw against North Macedonia on Monday night.

The 19-year-old Rico Lewis made his debut for England in this game. Manchester City defender gave a penalty away in the first half, but he produced an impressive performance.

“I thought the performance was good, mentality was excellent,” England boss Southgate said. “I thought we played well, we totally controlled the game.

“It was difficult with the way that they defended and the pitch not easy to get the perfect final pass.

“But I thought there were some excellent performances within the game.

“I didn’t think that was a penalty. The one before might have been, so maybe that evened itself out.

“I’ve zero to say about (the VAR) which probably tells you everything.”

Southgate also insisted that the penalty decision did not overshadow Lewis’ debut.

He said: “Well, it shouldn’t do because he was excellent.

His performance and then his reaction to what I know will have been a disappointment for him, but we’re not looking at him for being at fault in any way.

His composure with the ball was outstanding and he should be really proud because we are very, very pleased with what he did.”

Southgate believes Rico Lewis was excellent the whole game and there is nothing to complain about his performance.

“We thought Rico throughout the whole game was excellent,” the England manager added. “Great composure, great resilience.

We didn’t feel he had anything to come back from but I know sometimes as a player you might feel that.

But we thought there was no crime, so we were pleased with everything he did.”

Manchester City captain Kyle Walker also wore the captaincy armband for his country for the first time.

It was a nice moment for him to captain his country,” Southgate said of the 33-year-old.

He’s really grown in terms of his leadership. I know he’s thriving on that with his club and that will be a special moment in his career as well.”

Sam Barton
Sam Barton
Sam Barton fell in love with football during the 98 World Cup and has been fascinated by it ever since. The tactical side of the game is what truly inspires him to think, read and write about football, making him the ideal football writer.


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