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Gareth Southgate warns England stars he ‘didn’t like’ aspect of performance in Albania win

Gareth Southgate saw England move into pole position in their World Cup qualifying campaign – but warned they must improve.

Three Lions captain Harry Kane scored his first international goal in 16 months, provided the assist for Mason Mount and England now sit top of Group I ahead of their crunch showdown with Poland on Wednesday.

But Southgate said he was unhappy with the way England finished the game and admitted that they could get punished for sloppiness in the future.

England boss Southgate said: “What pleased me, we adapted well to the difficult pitch, controlled the game well. We changed the shape of the midfield well and looked comfortable after that.

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“The end of the game we should have killed the game off and I didn’t like the way we managed the game in the last 15 minutes. Charging forward, conceding a throw when we didn’t need to. Pleased with the win but areas we need to improve on.

“The game was won by that stage of course and I was very pleased with two good performances but of course we’re pushing for a bit more because that’s the standard we want to set to be a top team.

Mount has started both games and insists he wants to face Poland which may not please Chelsea and Southgate warned that he cannot think too much about resting players.

Southgate added: “We’re trying to qualify for the World Cup. We can’t constantly think of rotating squad. There have been a lot missing and tried to protect forwards in first part of week. Now we have to get on and try to win games. We’ve got to balance freshness for Wednesday.”

Kane added: “I thought it was a really good performance, Maybe a bit slow at the start but we changed our formation and I think that helped.

“Sometimes you go through spells when things don’t go your way, that is part of being a striker. You just have to stay focused and it was great to get three points.

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“We need to keep working hard but we are in a good place. Poland will be the toughest game in the group but we are ready for that. If we can win that, that puts us in a great position.”

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