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  1. ITV Report

Southgate is a fantastic manager, says Alli

Dele Alli scored his second goal for England in Saturday's 2-0 win over Malta. Photo: PA

Dele Alli hailed Gareth Southgate as a "fantastic manager" after he began life as England's interim head coach with victory over Malta in Saturday's World Cup qualifier.

Tottenham's Alli scored the second goal of a solid 2-0 win, with Daniel Sturridge opening the scoring on what proved to be a frustrating night for the Three Lions in front of goal.

Southgate was in charge for the first time having been named as Sam Allardyce's successor after his 67-day reign came to an acrimonious end.

He deployed Alli in his favoured number 10 role with captain Wayne Rooney again operating deeper in midfield.

And, having scored his second senior goal, the 20-year-old praised Southgate, who had also worked with the former MK Dons man at Under-21 level.

"He was quite relaxed and has a lot of faith in us it seems," said Alli.

"He told us to go out there and express ourselves, not to worry too much and to keep playing football and not get carried away.

"I think every manager is different in their own way, he is a great manager and I look forward to working under him."

Asked if he wanted to see Southgate handed the reins on a permanent basis, Alli replied: "It isn't my decision to make but he is a fantastic manager.

"I worked with him before at the Under-21s and I'm looking forward to working with him for these games too.

"The set-up they have got here is fantastic, St George's Park and everything like that, everyone gets on well and the manager has come in and fit in perfectly."

Despite celebrating his second England strike, Alli admitted after the win that he could have had a hat-trick in the game as Malta's Surrey-born goalkeeper Andrew Hogg thwarted the hosts on several occasions.

"It is possible," he said when asked if he could have taken two other good chances and completed a hat-trick.

"I'm disappointed in myself, it doesn't feel like I have scored, I feel like I should have had more and I need to put it behind me and go into the next game looking to score more goals.

"Every game is different and there is no easy game at international level. They sat deep and made it hard for us to keep going, it was important that we didn't get carried away."