England ended a three-match losing streak as they edged out Switzerland 1-0 in a friendly international on Tuesday.
Marcus Rashford scored the only goal shortly after the break at Leicester’s King Power Stadium, sealing victory in a largely uneventful clash.
Xherdan Shaqiri hit the post for Switzerland early on after a poor pass by goalkeeper Jack Butland but Rashford side-footed home Kyle Walker’s cross at the far post on 54 minutes.
After Saturday’s Nations League defeat by Spain and coming after the World Cup semi-final and third-place play-off defeats earlier in the summer, England returned to winning ways without ever playing their best.
Manager Gareth Southgate had said the match was a good chance to rest some of his bigger names and he was true to his word, making nine changes to the team beaten at home by Spain.
Captain Harry Kane was among those left on the bench with Rashford and Danny Welbeck forming the attacking partnership.
Defender Harry Maguire, playing at his home club, said Southgate had been vocal at half-time after a 45 minutes of disjointed play, which prompted several changes for the second half.
“There were a few words spoken between the boys, all of us weren’t happy with the performance at half-time,” Maguire said. “The pressing was a bit in bits and bobs, people going, and people staying.”
“The gaffer had some stern words with us and the second half was much better.”
Southgate has been stressing over the past week how he wants England to play the ball out of defence and press high up the pitch.
In the first half, England were guilty of being a bit too casual on the ball and almost gave away a goal when Butland played the defence into trouble and Shaqiri hit the outside of the post.
But after Southgate’s half-time talk, things improved and Rashford was unmarked at the far post as he made no mistake from Walker’s cross.
“The gaffer has told he wants us to be confident in doing that so in the second half we were still trying to play,” Maguire said.
“In the second half we did that a lot better than the first half, so we want to carry on doing and playing like that but obviously we don’t want to give the ball way and give chances away.”
Maguire and Ben Chilwell, who came on in the second half for his debut, were both playing on their home ground.
Maguire praised the atmosphere at the King Power Stadium but said the result was the key.
“People were talking about the three games we have been beaten, we had to stop the rot, we did it well tonight, especially in the second half, keeping a clean sheet, that’s what we’re good at, we got the victory and we can take it into the next game.”