Dele Alli said he revelled in the number 10 role Gareth Southgate gave him for England’s 2-0 win against Malta.
With captain Wayne Rooney operating in a deeper role, Alli played just off the front at Wembley and scored England’s second goal in their first match since Southgate took interim charge.
The Tottenham star could have had a hat-trick, having gone close before his goal and been unable to take a decent chance in the second half.
“I do like to get in the box and get goals and assists and the chances were there, so I can’t complain, but maybe I need to be more clinical,” Alli told reporters after the game.
“Gareth Southgate is a fantastic manager. I’ve worked with him before and he knows what I’m about, so he just told me to go out there and play my football and try to affect the game.”
England’s uninspiring but comfortable victory in their second World Cup qualifier leaves them top of Group F and in a strong position ahead of Tuesday’s match against Slovenia.
“It’s a good base for us to keep working on,” Alli added.
“It was a solid performance from the boys. We started the game strongly, we kept the ball and we dominated the game which we knew we would.”