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Gareth Southgate became the first England manager since 1996 to not make any substitutions in 90 minutes as the Three Lions drew 1-1 with Poland in Warsaw on Wednesday night.
Harry Kane broke the deadlock 72 minutes into the World Cup qualifier and looked to have won the match for the visitors before Damian Szymanski powered in a stoppage time header to earn a draw for the Poles.
It seemed strange that Southgate had not made some changes in the second half and it was a decision left open for criticism thanks to the late equaliser, but the England boss insists there was no need to make any substitutions while Poland made five.
The last time an England boss didn’t make any subs was in the semi-finals of Euro 96 when Terry Venables saw his side lose on penalties to Germany at Wembley.
Asked why he didn’t make any changes in Warsaw, Southgate told ITV: ‘Because we were in total control of the game and we’d have been making changes for the sake of it, really.
‘I thought the players out there were in the rhythm of the game, we were in control of the game so to make the changes would have potentially disrupted it rather than improved it.
‘It’s not easy to come off the bench in those moments of matches.’
Speaking to the BBC, Southgate said he did actually want to make some subs, but then changed his mind after Kane’s goal.
‘We wanted to make substitutions towards the end, but when the goal went in we thought there was no point because we would be adding time on,’ Southgate told the BBC.
‘We were playing well, we were in control. At those moments, it’s not easy to come on as a substitute and we would be taking people off for the sake of it, frankly.
‘We were in total control, there was no issue, why disrupt it when you’re in control?’
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Source: Metro Sport