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    Gareth Southgate hails England back three in Brazil draw


    Joe Jones

    Gareth Southgate has praised England's back three after they kept Brazil at bay in Tuesday's goalless draw at Wembley.

    Joe Gomez, John Stones and Harry Maguire dealt well against a side whose attacking trident consisted of Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Philippe Coutinho as the Three Lions claimed what Southgate described as a "very credible" result.

    Tuesday's friendly followed the goalless draw with world champions Germany on Friday, capping off an impressive pair of performances against top international sides.

    "I thought they were all excellent," Southgate told Sky Sports News. "Joe has been given the man-of-the-match award and rightly so.

    "We know his athleticism is a real asset, but there was also his decision-making and his calmness in the face of high quality movement and high-quality through passes that he had to read.

    "In the two games, I think John Stones has really shown his defensive attributes.

    "He's looked really mature, controlled the line and taken pride in his defending as well as being calm in possession. I think that's a significant step for him.

    "They are not going to face more difficult tests than they have had in the two matches we have had, and they have come through them with two clean sheets.

    "The system has worked well. Collectively we have worked well. They had control of the game tonight and they were the most dangerous team, no doubt about that, but we have limited both teams to very few clear-cut chances.

    "There's lots for us to improve with the ball but for me there are really positive signs. We could put young players in and go and get beaten by four and you then question the decision, but they have really stepped up in the two matches.

    "The learning will have been enormous but they can also take a huge amount from both occasions."

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