Football: 'We'll be punished for starting slowly'

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The Independent Online
ALAN SHEARER admitted after last night's match that England would not be able to afford to start so slowly if they are going to make an impact in the World Cup this summer.

"The first half was pretty poor, and there were things that needed to be sorted out at half-time," the England captain said. "We did that and were by far the better team in the second half and could have won it.

"But, having said that, we cannot afford to start games like we did because we will get punished. It is something for us to work on. We must improve and hopefully we will do that. There was such a big gap between the midfield and the forwards that we had no option but to kick it long."

Glenn Hoddle, the England coach, said he had been encouraged by the performance after the break. "In the second half we played much better. In the first half the Swiss were the better side, and all in all the draw was the right result.

"At the end of the day the pitch was poor, and they adapted to it better than us in the first half. But in the second we had far better chances. If we had started the game like that I think we would have won it."

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