The Three Lions head to Euro 2020 among the top seeds after goals from Harry Winks, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford and Mason Mount saw Gareth Southgate’s men overcome Kosovo 4-0 on a humbling occasion in the Balkans.
Already assured of top spot in Group A and their pool matches being played at Wembley, the Three Lions knew they risked dropping out of the group of seeded sides for next summer’s European Championship unless they overcame tricky opposition in Pristina.
England wobbled at times at the rocking Stadiumi Fadil Vokrri, but Winks and Mount’s first international goals bookended a victory which also saw Kane and Rashford on target, on a night when the reception was more memorable than the match itself.
England were far from their best and, after the game, captain Kane warned his international team-mates that they would have to deliver with their club sides to be sure of a starting place at next summer’s tournament.
“It was a difficult game, a difficult pitch, they were up for it and we had already won the group so the mentality was not easy to go again. I thought we managed it well, we went through spells where they had pressure but we were clinical and 4-0 is a great result,” he said.
“As a striker I want to score goals and to win games. I love scoring, any striker does, hopefully I can keep that going into next summer.
“When you look through our squad everyone pretty much is playing regularly either in the Premier League or top leagues in Europe. If you’re not on it every week there are players who can take your spot.”
Southgate added that the sub-par pitch at the Fadil Vokrri Stadium had helped give his side “a good test”.
“It was a tight game and a good test for us. It was a difficult pitch, with players slipping and passes going astray. We needed a tighter game and a challenge. I’m happy we got that,” he said.
“We had to sustain spells of pressure and gave them chances – on another night that would be a problem. But attacking, we were ruthless.”