Southgate proud of England character

Gareth Southgate applauded the character of his England players as they secured a 2-2 draw with Scotland on Saturday.

With the Three Lions seemingly headed for a 1-0 win courtesy of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s 70th minute goal, two quick-fire free-kicks from Leigh Griffiths in the dying minutes then turned this European World Cup qualifier on its head.

Harry Kane though popped up to guide home a 93rd minute equaliser.

The result kept England on top of Group F, ahead of Slovakia, Slovenia, Scotland, Lithuania and Malta.

With their recent loss to Iceland at Euro 2016 still very much in recent memory, Southgate said it was important for his side to have come away with a result.

He told Sky Sports: “To come back from 2-1 down with the whole stadium bouncing and the memories that might have brought for the team, they put that to one side and they came through it.

“It’s a big moment for the team. We have questioned character and they’ve shown character today.”

He added: “I could see we had four minutes left and we had a chance to get back into the game. We have the ability to score a goal in 30 seconds and we must never lay down.

“I was pleased I didn’t see people lying on the floor or on their knees. They were upright and they were back at it.

“We had a free-kick just before we scored again and you must never, ever turn it in.”

Southgate also praised the support from the fans. “Our supporters were fantastic today and whatever had happened, we said we were going to go over to them at the end, so I’m glad we went over having got a point.

“They were with us all the way and they helped us get over the line or get the point.”