Scotland v England: Gareth Southgate 'not too harsh' on players after draw with Ukraine

150th Anniversary Heritage Match: Scotland v England

Venue: Hampden Park, Glasgow. Date: Tuesday, 12 September Kick-off: 19:45 BST.

Coverage: Listen on BBC Sounds, Radio 5 live & Radio Scotland and follow live on the BBC Sport website & app.

England manager Gareth Southgate says he did not want to be "too harsh" on his players after they did a "really good job in a difficult environment" in the 1-1 draw against Ukraine.

Saturday's draw was the first time England had dropped points in their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign.

Southgate's side are top of Group C and play an away friendly against Scotland on Tuesday at Hampden Park in Glasgow.

"We know our attacking play didn't quite click," said Southgate.

"Some of that was the surface because to make those quick incisive passes you just needed a little extra touch or there was a little bobble, so I was very conscious I wasn't going to be too harsh on my internal review of the players.

"You could see moments watching it back where the ball pops over a player's feet or he goes to play it first time and it lofts in the air.

"The reaction for us is we're top of the group, we're top scorers in Europe. The boys did a really good job in a difficult environment.

"We want to be better and we want to set a high standard so we weren't as happy coming away with a point as we might have been, but it's still a good result."

England reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup, the final of the European Championship in 2021 and the quarter-finals of last winter's World Cup in Qatar.

The Three Lions have 13 points from their opening five qualifying matches for Euro 2024 in Germany and sit six points clear of Ukraine and nine ahead of Italy, who have one and two games in hand respectively.

Scotland are also in a strong position to qualify as they are top of Group A after five wins out of five, including victories against Spain and Norway.

Ridiculous to field experimental side - Southgate

Southgate insisted he would name his strongest side possible for the friendly, which commemorates the 150th anniversary of the first meeting between the two nations - on 30 November 1872.

"The first thing is we can't fiddle around with the team because we are playing a top-level team that will give us a high-level challenge," added Southgate.

"We can't be experimental because that would be ridiculous. We have to find the right balance of physical freshness, finding out about some players, winning, playing well, the usual things we expect of us.

"It's a great fixture, a fabulous game. It's a brilliant sporting rivalry and a great game to be involved in.

"It's a really good test for us as a team and you learn a lot about the group and the individuals playing a high-level opponent in a really intimidating atmosphere.

"These are the sort of matches that have been important in our progress and it's a challenge we have to head towards, walk into and relish the game. We have huge ambitions as a team but we have a lot of work to do.

"We have to compete, you will get rolled over if you don't compete but we also have to get the ball down and play so we have got to find the right balance emotionally, physically and we have to control these emotions.

"The tempo of the game will be high, we're prepared for that and have to make sure we are very good versions of ourselves."

Southgate praises Scotland's 'very good job'

Southgate played 57 times for England, including in the 2-0 win at Wembley over Scotland in Euro 1996, and told a news conference on Monday he had cheered on Scotland in the 1978 World Cup, a tournament England did not qualify for.

"I supported Scotland in 1978 as England hadn't qualified so I followed that trauma of Peru [who beat Scotland 3-1] and Netherlands [who Scotland beat 3-2], but England were back in from 1982 and from then on it was all England."

England and Scotland played out a goalless draw at the last European Championship and Southgate was expecting another tough match.

"I thought Scotland were excellent that night," he added. "Like every team, the longer you are together you get more experiences so they will have grown through that and individual players have more experience in big matches.

"I really like the formation of the team and the tactics and the individual players. It's a very good job that [manager] Steve [Clarke] and [assistant] John [Carver] have done."