Gareth Southgate refused to pin any blame on Harry Maguire or Nick Pope after their costly mistakes in England’s 3-3 Nations League draw with Germany.
Manchester United defender Maguire was booed by fans when his name was read out and a moment of madness saw him give the ball straight to Jamal Musiala and then foul him in the penalty area.
Ilkay Gundogan put away the resulting spot kick before Kai Havertz made it 2-0, but a stirring comeback from the Three Lions saw them go 3-2 up thanks to strikes from Luke Shaw, Mason Mount and Harry Kane.
However, Nick Pope then made a mess of a simple shot, spilling it to allow Havertz to score his second and earn the Germans a point.
On Maguire’s penalty mishap, Southgate said: “It is hard to tell from the side. It is the giving away of possession that is the problem, but look, as a group they have really come together this week. It has been a tough period for the team but they have grown.
“To an extent, we are always going to face pressure so we need to be exposed to pressure. We played a friendly against Ivory Coast in March and they went to ten men and it became a non-event and we learnt nothing. This week we’ve learnt a huge amount. They’ve had to step forward and come together – it will benefit us in the long run.”
On Pope, he added: “It is an error and of course he’s going to be down but the team has to be together and we have done that all week.
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“Tonight, in the end, a couple of errors have cost us the goals but I’ll focus on the fact they played with tremendous spirit and showed a belief that we haven’t shown in the last few games. I thought the crowd saw that and rose to that.”
England don’t play again until their World Cup opener, when they take on Iran on 21 November.