Sam Allardyce: England scars still healing following Iceland defeat

England ran out 1-0 winners over Slovakia in their opening game of their World Cup 2018 qualifying campaign

BY Cian Roche 19:24 Tuesday 6 September 2016, 19:24 6 Sep 2016

Image: Nick Potts / PA Wire/Press Association Images

England manager Sam Allardyce says his players still bare scars from their European Championship defeat to Iceland after their narrow 1-0 victory over Slovakia.

Adam Lallana scored an injury-time winner to get their World Cup qualifying campaign off to a winning start and Allardyce explained that the team need time to process the defeat  to their Icelandic counterparts.  

"I think they were probably a bit nervous," Allardyce told The Guardian. "I saw a little nervous tension. It [Iceland] is bound to be in the back of their mind, isn’t it?

"They had a holiday, a pre-season, started the season with their clubs and then it comes to the first England game after Iceland and maybe there was nervous tension.

"It was too negative in the first 45 minutes. I think it was possession for possession's sake rather than trying to break the opposition down. That was maybe sub-conscious, players thinking: 'I don't want to be the one who gives that ball away.’ I could see that: ‘What if I make that pass? Oh, I don’t know …’ But we have to be brave.

"I haven’t asked what their biggest fear is because I didn’t want to talk about fear. I wanted to be positive and tell them what the future is. The only thing I mentioned about the past was to learn from it and the only thing I said was don’t feel like that again next time around."

Via The Guardian

Off The Ball

Newsletter

The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week