Callum Wilson praises England for being clinical and ruthless in win over Malta

Callum Wilson praises England for being clinical and ruthless in win over Malta

Callum Wilson hailed England’s clinical nature after they breezed past Malta.

The Newcastle striker came off the bench to score a penalty and wrap up a 4-0 Euro 2024 qualifying win on Friday.

Ferdinando Apap’s own goal, Trent Alexander-Arnold’s stunner and Harry Kane’s spot-kick put England in control before the break.

It tightened their grip on top spot in Group C ahead of Monday’s clash with North Macedonia in Manchester.

Wilson said: “We were very clinical and ruthless in the first half and it kind of put the game to bed and then it gives players like myself an opportunity to get on the pitch.

“We’ve not played as a team in a while and the Premier League ended about two-and-a-half weeks ago and we blew away the cobwebs during the week and put in a great performance against Malta.

“Any time you have away from the football field you’re going to have a bit of rust when you come back to it but we managed to keep in shape and come back.

“The intensity of training is always high and the standard is really high.”

The 31-year-old replaced Kane after an hour and won the penalty when his cross hit Steve Borg’s hand to add a fourth with seven minutes left, just his second goal and first since scoring on his debut against the USA in November 2018.

“I managed to get in the position and I see Phil Foden in the box and when it was blocked I was one of the first people to call for it,” he told the BBC.

“It was about a minute after the referee blew the whistle and we weren’t sure what was going on as we didn’t know if we had VAR. I was happy to step up and take it and put it away.

“It has been a wait. It’s always an honour to play for your country and then to score it tops it all off really.

“It makes all of the hard work that you’ve put in to get yourself here worthwhile. Probably the only downside is that I didn’t score more. I had a couple of chances but it was a great team performance.”