ENGLAND followed up their goalless draw against Germany with another disciplined defensive display to keep Brazil at bay last night, with Gareth Southgate's youth policy again showing some promising signs.
Gareth Southgate believes England's hard-won goalless draws against Brazil and Germany have helped fix the bond between the team and its supporters that has frayed at times in the last 18 months.
"In terms of heart, resilience and spirit it was up there with anything I have been involved in", Southgate said.
"Young players digging in, we just couldn't move the ball as well as we did the other night".
"Tonight we showed resilience, guts and some really outstanding defending against a top, top team".
"For me he's going to be a top player".
The 20-year-old has played for his nation at multiple levels, having made six appearances for England U-21s, four appearances for England U-19s, 19 appearances for England U-17s and finally two appearances for England U-16s. "It's a base to work from".
With Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Philippe Coutinho in a Brazil starting lineup packed with experience and quality, the match had the potential to be a torrid evening for England's callow defence in which Joe Gomez started for the first time.
Goalkeeper Joe Hart, back in the team after Jordan Pickford played against Germany, also praised the players in front of him as Brazil drew a blank.
"I thought the defensive backline were phenomenal", he said.
Southgate believes his players face a tougher task against a side he deems to be the "best team in the world". "We didn't win, but we didn't lose".
This season, he has made 12 appearances in which he has grabbed one assist and helped the Reds achieve four clean sheets.