Gareth Southgate watched England clinch their place as Euro 2020 top seeds – and then claimed they are in better shape than at last year’s World Cup.
England reached the semi-finals in Russia but Southgate backed his players to go even further in next summer’s “homecoming tournament” when games are staged at Wembley.
In-form England striker Harry Kane kept up his prolific goalscoring run and victory means that Southgate’s men will go into the Euro draw on November 30 in pot one.
Three Lions boss Southgate said: “I would say that we’re definitely further ahead than we were heading into Russia, but we made massive strides in this period when we went into Russia.
“So, we’ve got to make sure that to get the level of performance next summer, we’re going to have to improve in the way that we did over that spell as well. And I think the team have belief, for sure, you can see the confidence.
“They don’t come into these matches, I said last night, they don’t come into these matches worrying about what might go wrong, they’ve got the confidence to control games with possession, and they know they’re going to score goals.
“So, yes, what we don’t know, because we haven’t had those tests more recently against the top eight or ten, is exactly how we’re going to cope in those moments. And to win the European Championship is, at the moment, no easier than the World Cup.
“The final four were all European, and you’ve got to add Spain, Germany, Portugal and all the others into that, so it’s a really high-level tournament.”
Harry Winks and Mason Mount both scored their first goals for England on a memorable night in Pristina as Southgate’s men were given a hero’s welcome after British troops played a part in the tiny Balkan nation gaining independence.
Kane is now on 32 goals in 45 caps and Southgate insisted that he now has a world class forward line to compete with the best.
Southgate added: “I think our forward players, Raheem [Sterling], Harry [Kane], Marcus [Rashford] are so exciting to work with. Then, with the younger ones that are supporting that.
“So, it’s clearly an area of the team that they thrive from each other, they create for each other, they are all scoring goals – which wasn’t the case 18 months [ago], particularly for Marcus [Rashford] and Raheem [Sterling], in the numbers that they’ve been getting.
“But they work so hard for the team, you know. That’s, for me, the biggest thing. Nobody in our squad can ever shirk the hard work because when your forward three create the way they do, score the way they do, but press and work for the team the way they do, it’s brilliant for the culture of how we want, and how we need, to play.”
Kosovo manager Bernard Challandes added: “England are the best team in Europe right now. Their attacking potential is enormous.”