Harry Redknapp feels England can be proud of their efforts at the World Cup but rued the lack of a Luka Modric-type midfielder after the Three Lions’ semi-final defeat to Croatia.
Kieran Trippier’s early free-kick put England ahead in Moscow but Ivan Perisic levelled midway through the second half and Mario Mandzukic’s extra-time strike condemned Gareth Southgate’s side to a 2-1 loss.
“You expected them to tire, but they seemed to get stronger after half-time and in extra time,” former Tottenham boss Redknapp told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“They found reserves of energy from somewhere and just got control of the game. Luka Modric was absolutely unbelievable and ran the game in midfield.
“I always felt this was our first real big test against a very decent team, but a team that I certainly did think was going to tire because of the extra time they played in other games. I just felt they had a little bit more quality in certain areas.
“The lads can come away from this tournament and be proud of what they’ve done, but at the end we did come up a little bit short.
“We still need somehow to find a midfield player or two who can control the game, like a Modric – I know they’re not easy to find, but we just seem to lack somebody with that ability to get control and dominate a football match like he did last night.”