England midfielder Declan Rice has called for calm after defeat to Italy extended the Three Lions’ winless streak to five games.
Giacomo Raspadori’s strike at San Siro condemned Gareth Southgate’s side to relegation to League B in the Nations League and marked England’s longest run without a win in competitive matches since October 1992.
With just 90 minutes of football and 56 days until the World Cup campaign in Qatar begins against Iran, concern is rising, but Rice has promised there will be improvements.
“It’s obviously disappointing. Every tournament we go into, we set out to win,” he told Channel 4 after the loss.
“In the Nations League we have slipped below our standards, but I didn’t think it was all bad tonight.
“It’s coming. It was a much better performance tonight than we saw in the summer.
“It’s not that we’re not creating the chances. I see it in training. There are goals for fun. Trust me, we are going to be good.”
England’s drop in form has come alongside a barren run in front of goal, having gone 495 minutes without a goal in open play – the last being Raheem Sterling’s strike in a friendly against the Ivory Coast in March.
Southgate’s side face Germany at Wembley on Monday to bring an end to a disappointing Nations League campaign, before the countdown to the World Cup truly begins.
5 – England have gone five matches without a win for the first time since 2014, and have gone five competitive matches without winning for the first time since 1992. Slump. pic.twitter.com/vKmGzZAmmi
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 23, 2022